Monday, November 14, 2011

Excavation and restoration work at Germenicia

Excavation and restoration work at Germenicia

Intensive digging, exploration and restoration activities at the ancient site of Germenicia, found by accident during illegal digs in the city of Kahramanmaraş, have ended for the year, with the focus now being placed on local expropriation of land.

The discovery of the Germenicia site, as a result of illegal digging and home repairs that occurred in Kahramanmaraş in 2007, caused great excitement, especially as some of the floor mosaics decorating villas on the site have entered world archaeology literature. As far as tourism expectations are concerned, the Germenicia discovery has also filled area residents with great hope. Effort has been put into protecting the site, now that the first section of digging has been completed for this year. Efforts to expropriate land have picked up speed, as digs in four different districts of the city have brought to light mosaics at 23 different locations. Culture and Tourism director Seydi Küçükdağlı has noted that in the first stages of these efforts, 22 different parcels of land will be expropriated using funds from the Culture and Tourism Ministry. Recalling that in 2010, the Council of Monuments in Adana expropriated 146 acres of land, Küçükdağlı said: “This is a very large area of land. So we know our work is going to be difficult.

These floor mosaics are spread over a wide residential area. This is why the public expropriation part of this project is very important to us. We will start with the areas that the ministry sees as being particularly urgent.” Küçükdağlı said the ministry believes that Germenicia as a site will act as a locomotive for tourism in the region and although work was going slowly, the mosaics being uncovered would be revealed for the entire world to see. He noted that the greatest aim at this point was to see the construction of some sort of “archaeological park” that would allow visitors to see and admire the mosaics where they were found, rather than in a museum. The ancient site of Germenicia The mosaics of Germanicia are of the quality and level of iconography that allow them to be compared to those found at Turkey’s Zeugma site. Germenicia is spread out over a wide area that encompasses 146 acres of land. The districts of Kahramanmaraş where the sites are found are Dulkadiroğlu, Bağlarbaşı, Namık Kemal and Şeyhadil, all of which have been declared third-degree protected areas or protected zones. Germenecia is thought to have been a fourth or fifth century Roman city, with residents who were generally comparatively quite wealthy and aristocratic. Its discovery is expected to turn Kahramanmaraş into one of the world’s most important centers for mosaics. The ancient site is thought to have around 100 villas, each with around 15-20 rooms. The floor mosaics found at the site are believed by experts to contain many significant clues as to life — both social and cultural — at the time. The floor mosaics of Germenecia depict human, animal and floral figures very realistically. Source:

Todays Zaman [November 13, 2011]

Posted by TANN on 11:00 AM. Filed under ArchaeoHeritage, Archaeology, Breakingnews, Greater Middle East, Near East, Turkey . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0