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DateLecture
12 February 2019The new Pompeii - Rescuing Zeugma from the Floodwaters of the Euphrates
12 March 2019Henry Moore: a revolution in British Sculpture
09 April 2019The Cult of the South Pacific: from Cook to Gauguin
14 May 2019Great lengths - on the art and architecture of historic swimming pools and lidos
11 June 2019Rimpa Art: Literary Inspiration for design

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The new Pompeii -
Rescuing Zeugma from the Floodwaters of the Euphrates
Louise Schofield Tuesday 12 February 2019

 

3rd century mosaic from Zeugma on the Euphrates depicting the god Poseidon

12th February 2019 - Rescuing Zeugma from the Floodwaters of the Euphrates - Louise Schofield

In Spring 2000 an archaeological drama began to unfold on the banks of the Euphrates river in Turkey, close to the border with Syria. A small team of French and Turkish archaeologists found a Roman city on the banks of the river, with mosaics and wall-paintings finer than those of Pompeii. However, just beside them was the almost completed Birecik Dam, and the Turks had begun to flood the great reservoir behind it, taking the city under water. This lecture tells the story of the extraordinary archaeological rescue excavation that then took place (racing the waters for four and a half months as they rose at a rate of two feet a day) and the fabulous treasures recovered, including mosaic floors depicting colourful scenes from myth and legend.

Louise Schofield is an archaeologist who was Curator of Greek Bronze Age and Geometric Antiquities at the British Museum from 1987-2000.  Her  book, The Mycenaeans, was co-published by the Getty Museum and the British Museum in 2007. She now writes, lectures and runs international archaeological projects - previously in south-eastern Turkey, Greece and Albania and currently in Ethiopia.