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History of Zeugma in Turkey

Zeugma Mosaics

Also known as Zeuma it is an ancient city of Commagene. In modern times it is located in Gaziantep Province of Turkey. It was considered one of the most prominent and prosperous settlements under the Commangene Regieme. The history is very ancient and was originally settled as a greek province by Seleucus I Nicator who was a general of Alexander the great.

It is located around 45 kilometers from Gaziantep which is situated near the town Nizip. It is a very small village also called Belkis and its inhabitants usually grow and cater to pistachio trees. These nuts are usually their only source for income. But all wealth cannot be measured in terms of money, can it? The real asset of this city are the fantastic ruins of the old Zeugma, which has stayed underneath the groves of pistachio for almost 2000 years now.

The Roman rule made the city a major hub in the region. This was because of the commercial potential which originated from the geographical and tactical location of the city. This city was on the path which connected the city of Antiach to China which was known as silk road. In 256 A.D the city faced the starting for its darkest times. It was evaded by the Sassanian King, Sapur I and was utterly destroyed. The destruction was so large that the city was not able to be rehabilitated for a long time. A late roman territory was made in 4th Century the city Zeugma. The city was ruled over by the Byzantine domination during the 5th and 6th centuries. Under repeated raids by the Arabs on the city, it had to be abandoned again. But later there was a small residence of abbassid in Zeugma in the 10th and 12th centuries Finally “Belkis” village was established in the 1700s. And then for nearly 2000 years it was a place for residence of high ranking Roman military personals.

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