Work has been initiated to open a 900 square meter area, which is home to the remains of mosaics and villas dating back 1,500 years, during the excavations carried out in the ancient city of Germanicia in the southern province of Kahramanmaraş.
Kahramanmaraş Museum Director and head of excavations, Safinaz Acıpayam said that the two areas of the ancient city, which are currently open to visitors, are 300 and 480 square meters in size, and the area to be opened to visitors in 2023 will be 900 square meters, including a 50 square-meter mosaic unearthed last year.
This year’s excavations in the ancient city of Germanicia, which came to light during illegal excavations in the city’s Bağlarbaşı district in 2007, have been recently completed.
Excavations have been carried out in 35 different areas to date in order to uncover the ancient city. Acıpayam said that a 140 square-meter mosaic, depicting a hunting scene was found in 2015, a 50 square meter mosaic, depicting an open-air feast before the hunt was found in 2021, and an 18 square meter mosaic with geometric figures was found this year.
“In last year’s excavations, work continued in the area that was previously excavated in 2015. This year works continued in different parcels within the same island. As of November, we completed the 2022 excavations. We unearthed a floor mosaic of approximately 190 square meters in the area. In this floor mosaic, there were sections from the hunting scenes performed by the Romans in different regions. In the excavations last year, a floor mosaic with an open-air feast was found, which is a continuation of the other mosaic. In this feast scene, the host and guests sit in the middle and three women dance in the company of a figure playing the pan flute. There are also male servants and they make offerings. During the 2022 excavations, a floor mosaic belonging to a different part of the villa rustica was found. This one is the continuation of that mosaic, with a feast scene in the same area, and this mosaic was 18 square meters. Again in 2021, some sections of the bathroom, belonging to the same villa rustica, were revealed. However, our excavations are not concluded yet, it is set to be completed in 2023,” said Acıpayam.
The biggest area to open to visitors
Acıpayam stated that the area will be opened to visitors after the excavation works are completed and that the work for the opening has already started.
“The restoration and conservation of the mosaics will be carried out primarily during the opening works. Then, external masonry, roof system and walking paths will be built to protect the natural area from external factors, and to allow the visitors to see the cultural assets comfortably. Lighting and camera systems will also be placed in the area,” she said.
Stating that there are two open areas in the ancient city of Germanicia, Acıpayam said one of these areas is 300 square meters and the other 480 square meters. “However, the area to be opened soon is slightly larger than these and covers an area of 900 square meters,” she added.
Acıpayam also noted that the mosaics of Germanicia were preserved and opened to visitors on-site.
“We see some destructions in the area; conservation and restoration of these destructions are carried out by expert restorers, and then the masonry and roof systems are made to protect them from physical factors, and the mosaics are protected 24 hours a day. The mosaics are also protected by night vision camera systems as well as security guards,” she said.