‘Zeugma’, means ‘bridgehead’ or ‘crossing place’. Thanks to its strategic situation on an east-west axis, the city quickly grew and developed, becoming one of the four major cities of the Commagene Kingdom founded in the 1st century B.C. in the post-Hellenistic period. Now exhibited at Gaziantep Museum in downtown Gaziantep, the well-preserved mosaics depict a wide variety of mythological scenes and individuals. So Zeugma Museum was my next stop. The museum was so big and everything in there was remarkable. Some of the mosaics were not fully complete because of time, because people didn’t give importance to them and tried to destroy and some others knew their value and tried to steal them. There is history behind each mosaic. History about gods that goes parallel with the Hellenistic period. Despite all these beautiful mosaics it was especially one that caught my eye and I think that everyone who goes there has the same feeling too. This museum is very famous for the “Gypsy girl” mosaic and that is the one that I am talking about.
The Gypsy Girl's disheveled hair, prominent cheekbones and haunting eyes have become somewhat of the face of Gaziantep since it was unearthed in the ancient city. The Gypsy girl is often compared to Leonardo Da Vinci’s Monalisa due to the same technique for depicting her eyes. Like Monalisa, The Gypsy Girl follows you everywhere. “A special technique was used in the mosaic in order to make her eyes more realistic.On the other hand,the fact that both joy and sorrow are reflected in her face indicates the stage reached in the art of portrait.” This was written under the mosaic and although this piece of art is the highlight of the museum,other artworks are amazing too and worth seeing.
Zeugma Mosaic MuseumMithatpaşa Mahallesi, Hacı Sani Konukoğlu Bulvarı, 27500 Şehitkamil/Gaziantep, Turkey
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