The Zeugma Mosaics

Etymologically there are two characters who are associated with milk white color. First one is one of Zeus’s daughters and a mermaid goddess who takes part in some of the Sicilian legends. The Sicilian Kyklops Polyphemos who head an appearance of a beast was madly in love with Galateia the milk skinned beauty who lived in still seas. But the girl never returned his feelings she was in love with Akis who was the son of a Nympha and God Pan. One day when Galateia was resting on her lovers chest Polyphemos saw them.  Although Akis tried to run to escape but Kyklopos threw a big store which hit and killed him. Galateia gave Akis his mothers identity and turned him in to a river with clear water. Some tales say that three heroes were born of Galateia and Polyphemos’s love Galas, Keltos and Illyrius who later gave names to Galats, Kelts and Illyrians. In this case they both must have loved each other but no evidence of such a case has reached us to confirm additional information.
The other Galateia is from Crete and is the daughter of a person called Eurytios. This Galateia, although she lived in Phaistos city and came from a good family was married to a poor Lampros. When Lamproslearned that Galateia was pregnnnant, told her that he only wanted a son and if she had a daughter she was to disown the baby. When Lampos was up in the mountains herding sheep, Galateia had a baby girl. She could not leave the baby and with oracles advice she dressed the babay as a boy, and named him Lukippos and kept all this secret from Lampos. Bus as time went bye Leukippos grew to be very beatiful and it became very hard to keep this secret Galateia fell in to a fear and went to Leto’s tample to ask the Goddess to change her daughter’s sex. Leto could not resisting Galateia’s beggings accepted her wish and turned her daughter in to a young man.
In this mosaic, Dionysos  and nature god of Anatolian origin and Nike god of victory are pictured together. Dionysos can be seen in a cart pulled by two panthers controlled by Nike. A Bakkha can be seen dancing and leading in front of the cart. Dionysos is also the name of a religion.  Those who belonged to this faith would launch a mysterious journey by drinking wine. Those who participated in these ceremonies were named Saritus (men) and Bakkha (women).

It is one of the Sirens. Her grave was said to be in Napoli. She jumped into the sea and  she swam with her sisters; the waves threw her corpse to the shore and a monument was built on Napoli 's shore in her name. In another version of the myth Parthenope was a young girl originally from Phrygia she fell in love with Metiokhos but she just couldn’t bring herself to take an action against her oath Parthenope punished herself and cut her hair and voluntarily went to compania as an exile.She there devoted herself to Dyonysos and Aphrodita who got very angry with her turned Parthenope in to a demon called Siren with a birds body and woman’s head.

After Posedion and Amphitit’s magnificent wedding under the sea,they had a child.this child looked both from waist down where he was covered see weed laid like a fish .This child,named Triton,started serving his mother ( Amphitrite) an his father ( Posedion) and passed on their message by the  sea shell. His strong blow would make sounds of huge waves of the angry seas.  Before long Posedion and Amphitites precious son Triton had many babies from many mermaids. All babies had a human beings facial features but looked like a fish from waist below. Posedion who is the god of all rivers and seas would come out of his magnificent palace in the depths of the seas.When he did that all tritons would beat their drams and blow their horns and calm down the anger of the waves and would swim along the cart of their god.

AKHILLEUS’s going to WAR OF TROY Akhilleus’s parents who doesn’t want him to join the war of Troy send him to King Lykomedes’s palace on Skyros island.  There Akhilleus joins the daughter of Lykomedes in women’s clothes.But when the predictions spread around that Troy could never be concurred unless Akhilleus joined the war, Odysseus starts looking for Akhilleus. Odysseus knowing his warrior personality goes to king Lykomedess place with a wise plan. He goes in to place with colorful fabrics, jewelery and a few pieces of weapons. Where all the other girls tend to the fabrics and jewelery Akhilleus can not resist it and takes the sword and the shield and start playing with them. Odysseus’s plan has worked and Akhilleus’s real identity was revealed this mosaics pictures that moment.

The abundance of Euphrates has been used in another composition in Zeugma mosaic. Acheloos the king of Euphrates is shown with the horn of abundance on his head seattering around fruit and nuts. Acheloos has a mustache in the shape of wings. He has flowers in his hair and has two horns of abundance on the upper part of his forehead. Fruits and plums and seeds of sun flowers are shown in this mosaic all surrounded by branches and the horn of abundance. Acheloos was the oldest of 3 thousand sons of Okeanos and Tethys who are considered the oldest couple in Helen Teogony. There are different myths about Acheloos. According to one of these myths Akheloos, who is the neighbour of the King Oineus in Kalydon Aitolia ask the Kings daughter Deineria to merry him. Acheloos had the ability for metamorphosis as the king of river and could turn into different things. He could sometimes be a bull, sometimes a dragon. This talent scared Deineria. When Herakles came to Oineus’s palace and made a proposal for marriage for his daughter, Deineria accepted it at once. But Herakles had a very hard time taking away his bride because of Acheloos who could a big fight tool place between the two rivals. Acheloos used all his talents and Herakles used all his power. During the fight Acheloos turned into a bull. But Herakles broke one of his horns. Then Acheloos considered himself defeated and he surrendered. He left the right of marriage with Deineria to Herakles but asked for his broken horn to be returned to him. Herakles in return presented him with, one of flower and fruit making horns of goat Amaltheia the wet nurse of Zeus. Some authors claim that this wonderful horn actually belonged to Acheloos himself. Today the Acheloos river is called Astropotama and flows into the Greek sea at Patlas Bay.

And so Perseus sought out Medusa's lair, surrounded as it was by the petrified remains of previous visitors, and he found the Gorgon sleeping; Yes, even though he had the good old magic arsenal, Perseus was not so foolhardy as to wake Medusa. And even though her gaze could hardly be expected to turn anyone to stone while her eyes were closed, he used the device provided by Athena to avoid looking at Medusa directly. (This suggests that you could be turned to stone just by gazing at Medusa, though most versions of the myth have it that it was the power of her gaze that counted .

This mosaic which was found during the zeugma excavations in 1992,  long before Zeugma became a current issue, became the symbol of Zeugma because of the mysterious look she had in her eyes. When it could not be identified it got named “Gypsy” because of the women’s resemblance with gypsies. But some sources draw attention to the wide in the mosaic and claim that it is GAIA the Goddess of the Earth.
In Mythology it is considered that GAIA is the first element all god’s ancestors have derived from. Although GAIA has a major role in Hesiodos’s Theogonia,it is never seen in Homeros’s poems. According to Heiodos GAIA without a male element gave birth to the sky (Ouranos) and the mountains and also Pantos the personalized element of the sea. After the birth of the sky GAIA coupled with him and therefore all her children became real Gods and were not just simple elements of power first six titans Okeanos, Koios Krios. Hyperion, Iapetus and Kronos and six titans:  Theia, Reia, Themis, Mnemosyne, Phoibe, Tehys were born. All of these are feminine Godlike creatures. The youngest one of this generation is Kronos. It was followed by Kyklops. These were godlike creatures that ruled the thunder, lightning, thunderbolt. Their names were: Arges, Steropes and Brontes. And at last from Ouranos’s loves gigantic Hekatogkheirs were born. They were much for violence and had hundred arms.

Antiope is a very beautiful woman Zeus the God of Gods fell in love with Antrope after seeing her beauty. And Approaches Antiope in shape of a Satyros (men participating in a Diyonisos ceremony by drinking wire) Zeus who steals Antiope’s heart has two children from her. But when Zeus leaves her she finds herself with noon to depend on Antiopes who was very much afraid of her father leaves home and marries Siklon the king of Epopeus.

The goddess of love and the one identified with the Roman love Goddess Venus. There are two different takes about her birth. Sometimes, she is considered the daughter of Zeus and Dione and sometimes she is said to be the daughter of Ouranos. According to this tale, Ouranos sex organs which was cut separate from his body had fallen in to the sea and Ouranus had a daughter from the seas and she was called the woman born from the waves or woman born from the seeds of the gods.

The god of Euphrates was found pictured on an octagonal pool floor in this mosaic Euphrates can be seen half laying on a couch. River Euphrates pictured flowing out of a jug under his elbow and the land that has met with the water is covered with green plants. Euphrates holds a branch from a tree. It is torso is naked, and there is a tree at his foot. This mosaic was found during the Belkis/Zeugma Necropol digs in 2000 in a Roman villa pool hallway with the Euphrates River Gods. There are two shellow polls in this hallway.According to the Myth Euphrates who the river is named after, had a son called Aksurtas. One day this young man was sleeping alongside his mother and Euphrates who thought that it was a stranger killed his own son. Euphrates later realizes his big mistake and jumps in to River Medos and suicides. After that day the river Medos was called Euphrates.

The young river God, his torso naked is half leaning on a platform on grass. On the upper left corner there is a building Lorth a triangle front and two courtyard walls. This must be representing a creek (Merzimen) providing water for the Euphrates. This mosaic is on the pool hallway floor.

It was found during the excavations carried out by the Museum of Gaziantep at Zeugma/Belkýs Kelekagzi region. Acratos and Euphrosyne ares shown seated at kline on Acratos is filling Euphrosyne’s cup out of a liquor jug shaped like a deer’s head. On the left the large liqour container crater takes place. Euphrosyne means joy and good spirits, she is one of the beauties called brightness sparkle and beauty and symbolises anything that is nice for sight. She is the daughter of Zeus and Eurynome. Acratos is a God that symbolises men who are weak against women   .

This mosaic which is estimated to be floor of a pool or a dining room.The most important gods of the sea are pictured.At the top Possedion can be seen riding a creature called Hippocam which has the head and front legs of a horse and is a fish at the back. Possedion holds a pitchfork. In the lower part of the mosaic another sea god Oceanos and Tethys which symbolizes Femaleness in the seas are pictured.The rest of the mosaic is decorated by various sea animals .

It is pictured in a rectangle frame to the left of Euphrates to the right of Euphrates a water fairy is pictured laying on grass leaning on her elbow. There is a spring flowing from under her elbow. This represent the springs providing water to for the creeks that flow in to Euphrates

Oceanos, the archaic era (except for Mediterranean) Lives with Tethys who symbolizes the feminine component in the sea.It is believed that all rivers and stream came into existence from Oceanos and Tethys.In this mosaic that was found in excavations in Zeugma which is estimated to be the floor of a pool pictures Oceanos and Tethys surrounded by sea creatures.Also Eros figures riding dolphins can be seen in the mosaic.
A young man Originally from Phrygia. Metiokhos was in love with a girl called Parthenope who had vowed to remain a virgin. She was in love with him too but she is also wanted to keep her vow. She cut her hair and became an exile. She went to Campania and devoted herself to the God of wine Dyonysos. Napoli in Italy is named Parthenope in Greek because of this myth. But those who refused physical love was never forgiven by Aphrodite. For this reason she turned her in to the demon Siren with a woman’s head and a birds body .

The two figures of the mosaic which were smuggled out of Turkey 36 years ago from Zeugma by Euphrates part which will be buried under the Birecik Dam waters, is brought back to Gaziantep from the U.S.A. The two figures brought back from the USA on June 19 was assembled to the main port of the mosaic. The main port was found in Zeugma in 1993 and was brought to the Museum of Gaziantep. The missing port of the mosaic was indicated by a big question mark ( ? ) . It is now ready to be exhibited.

The mosaic which was smuggled out of country was received in Houston by Esra Akça, one of Archeologists working for the Turkish Ministry Of Culture Museums and Monument Division and brought to Turkey on June 19. The mosaics were brought to Turkey in two wooden boxes and reunited with the main part. The two characters of this love story Parthenope and Metiokhos finally came back home after so many years. 
Silenos is the General name given to old Satyroses (the nature daemons that never leave Dionysos’s side) . It is also know that the legendary hero who raised Dionysos was also called Silenos. There is many different information on Silenos’s family tree.  Silenos is sometimes considered Pan’s or Hermes’s son born from a Nympha, sometimes he is said to be born from the drops of blood Hermes had shed when his sex organ was cut from his body by Ouranus Kronos. This Silenos was a very wise man but he only showed his wisdom under pressure.
For example once King Midas had him brought to his place and Silenos had told him wise things. Vergilios imagines shepherds forcing Silenos to sing songs. It was claimed that Silenos was the father of Ken taunos Pholos and had him from an ash tree Nympha.Some other legends see him as the father of Apollo Nomius (Apollon of Arkhadia) Silenos was a very ugly man. He had the flat nose thick lips and had the look of a bull. He had a huge belly. He was usually pictured store drunk and can barely keep his balance on a donkey.

Eros brings joy and beauty to world just like his mother Aphrodithe, fills people’s heart with the passion and prepares them either for happines or for death. He had pair ofwings on his back. He would travel the world flying with those wings and spread beauty audors of flowers where he passed over. Hel always had arrows in his hand. He would shoot people at heart by his arrow and make them fall in love with another .
One day he himself fall in love with a beauty. Physke was one of the three daughters of a King. She was so beautiful that people wre sometimes confused her with Aphrodithe and worshipped her. Aphrodithe was very much disturbed by being confused with a mortal. For this reason she called her son Eros and told him make Physke fall in love with the ugliest man in the world. Eros took off to carry out his mother’s orders. When he found Physke Eros , was ready to make this arrogant girl, who brogged of not fall in a love with anyone, fall madly in love with the worstman in the world, but just when he pointed his arrow to shoot at her heart Physke’s beauty devastated him. He fall in love with Physke instead of making her fall in love with someone else.
Physke’s only wish was to see the face of this young man who has madly in love with her. But Eros never accepted this. He always met her after dark and left before dawn, he had prohibited any light in the palace no candles no fire. It was no use for Physke to bag he never gave in an an Physke loved Eros without seeing him or knowing whole was. One day Physke’s sisters told her that the men she loved wab the ugliest looking beast world. She could not resist her curiosity and hid a lamp under a vase and waited for Eros’s arrival that night. Eros with no suspicion came to the palace and spent the night with Physke.
When he fell a sleep Pyske got up quietly and took the lamp from under the vase and when she appmached the bed she was as tonished at what she saw. When she expected to see an ugly face she met with the most handsome young man onu could imagine. When she saw this handsome face beyond description she fell even more in love with him. When she learned forward to kiss him on the forehead one drop of hot oil from the lamp fell on to his bare shoulder. Eros wake up in pain. As he realized that his lover did not keep his orders, he opened his.Wings and flew away. As Eros left the palace he had built by his magic vanished also.
Physke was in anguish and did not know what to do. Whit the hope to find her loved one she travelled all arround the world but alas, could not even find a trace of Eros. Finally she came to the door step of Aphrodithe’s palace all axhouseled, but Aphrodithe let alone helping her, made her work as a slave... Poor Physke took all the suffering without complain and did all that was asked of her without a word of objection, with the hope that she would one day meet her loved one. Finally Eros’s shoulder healed and he went to Olympos to change the fate of his belored. Who was devoted to him from the bottom of her hearth. He bagged Zeus to resque, Physke and give her to him as his wife. Zeus accepted all his wishes and ordered Hermes to have Physke brought to Olympos. Physke was brought to the Gods Plane and got married to the man he loved more then aynthing in the world lived happily ever after.

The 10 figures in the mosaic from left to rigt are,A men figure standing,drinking ligour out of a cup – A menad sitting holding a mesale – A dressed woman walking twords right with her arm up in the air holding something in her hands which can not be seen due to the damage in that part of the mosaic.A woman sitting on the throne is shown with most amount of clothes loosly coverg her body around her torso –A men’s figure shown with a halo around his head and next to throne a child figure two clothed women figure walking to the left.Which on the left is demaged at the head part and the one on the right holds a boy with things inside and the lid open.On the far right there is a woman holdung the flute next to a man with beard and naked torso.His hair is Ruffiled.The couple in the center,the eros next to them,the woman with a box of presents and another woman figure with her armas up giving the impression that she is either placing a ring of bay leaves or spinning yarn to weare the net of feith makes us think that this mosaic pictures DÝONYSOS’S wedding 

The mosaic which the God of earth with the horn of furtility on her left shoulder is shown in a square shallow pool crowned with flowers and ears of wheat right to the west of Gods related to Euphrates.The mosaic artist has created an Equitation of production by first having the water go through the pool where the God of Euphrates are pictured and have it reach the pool where the Goddess of furtility Demeter is,and this way he describes the abundance and furtility. Euphrates presents t o his surroundings. In addition Demeter’s bust is placed in the middle of decoration that is seen in the following order, an octagonal band an two equilateral rotated 90* and placed inside each other and the eight axe description taking place on each of eight corners at the ornamentation. This composition with the geometric decorations of number eight is surrounded by a circular band placed inside a square, decorated with plants. The number eight must have something to do with Demeter’s daughter Persephone. Because Zeus had decided that she should spend 2/3 of year (8 months) at the time of blossoming and fruit harvest time with her mother Demeter and the other 1/3 the winter period with her husband Hades. In the Myth Demeter doesn’t part with Persephone. And this mother. Daughter is called the first Goddess. For this reason in Belkýs/Zeugma mosaics they are together and Persephone is repRented by geometric decorations with the number eight.

The gods of Posseidon,presents the King of Crete Minos with a bull.The kings wife Pasiphae falls in love with this bull. She order the palace sculptor to make cow ma quette. A beast with with bull head and human body was born of this coupling the beast was named Minotaur.

King Minos would have 7 women 7 men sacrificies collected from all cities under his dominion,and feed them to minotaur who lived in a labyrint.People of Athens do not want to give more sacrificies to Minotaur representing the people of Athens Warior Theseus comes to crete and kills Minotaurs.

King Minos’s daughter Ariadne falls in love with the hero Theseu They get help from the architect of the labyrinth and escape from Crete with Theseus. Whom Minos the king of Crete learns about this treachery he locks Daidolos who has helped the fugitires and his son Ikanos labyrinth. Daidalos and Ikanos who were stuck in the labyrinth for a long time attach the wings they have made to their arms by beeswax and escape from Crete by flying.White flying in the sky Ikanos does not listen to his father’s warnings and get very close to metts and his arms and he falls from the sky on the ground and die.In this magnificient mosaics Daidalos (second from right) and his son Ikarus (on the right) is pictured working on the cow maquette Pasiphae(on the left sitting on the throne)had ordered to be made.

Europa was the daughter of Agenor, and was beloved by Zeus. Zeus took the form of a beautiful white bull and encountered Europa at the seashore. By appearing to be very tame, he coaxed her to climb onto his back and then swam off with her across the sea to Crete. In Crete, Europa had three sons by Zeus -- Minos, Sarpedon, and Rhadamanthys. Zeus also gave her three gifts: the bronze man, Talos, to act as her guardian; a dog, Laelaps, which never failed of its quarry; and a javelin which never missed its mark. Europa afterwards married Asterius, the king of Crete. Europa is also the name of a daughter of Tityus, and mother of Euphemus.

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