Turkey 2016 Part Eight B, The Zeugma Mosaics

Turkey 2016 Part Eight B, The Zeugma Mosaics June 23, 2016

Without question, the mosaic depiction most commented on by scholars, and rightly so is the so-called Zeugma Mona Lisa, or more commonly called the gypsy woman.

So celebrated is this mosaic that it garners its own dark room for display. Look for a while into these eyes… what do you see?
zeug20 Many of the other mosaics are less skillfully rendered than this one, but they are still impressive whether depicting a god like Dionysius, or Helios riding his sun chariot across the sky, or Neptune or some of the other Greek deities or a satyr or other such creatures. zeug21 zeug24zeug23zeug22zeug25

There is an interesting attempt to create a mosaic that was once the floor of a fountain, so you have a CG floor with CG fish floating over it next to the real mosaics….zeug26

The animal mosaics range from the impressive to the humorous….
Even more stunning are the geometric designs, some of which attempt three D effect….zeug33zeug 34zeug35zeug32zeug31zeug30

At times it seems clear that the artist is more interested in the geometric designs than in the human figures at the center of the patterns….zeug36zeug39zeug40

Interestingly, women show up about as much as men in these mosaics, which is not entirely surprising because socially elite women were more often in, and ran the houses. So we have women performing religious rituals, women being chased by satyrs or deities, family portraits of sorts… and more….zeug33zeug34zeug35zeug37zeug38zeug39

Occasionally we have an inscription in mosaic like this one….zeug40 There is much to marvel at here, and I’ve barely scratched the mosaic surface. Here as a parting tease is a fragment…. notice the beautiful colors in the mosaic. zeug41

It would appear all these mosaics are dating to the Hellenistic period, and the Romans simply took over these villas when they conquered the town.

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