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Excavations in Epiphaneia ancient city unearth calendar mosaics in Turkiye

A view of the archeological excavation site as the "Calendars Mosaic", which tells about rural activities and includes personification for each month, is found in the Erzin district of Hatay, Turkiye on September 17, 2022. [Burak Milli - Anadolu Agency]
A view of the archeological excavation site as the "Calendars Mosaic", which tells about rural activities and includes personification for each month, is found in the Erzin district of Hatay, Turkiye on September 17, 2022. [Burak Milli - Anadolu Agency]

Depicting rural activities, calendar mosaics with personifications of months have been discovered in southern Turkiye during ongoing excavations in the ancient city of Epiphaneia, Anadolu News Agency reports.

Digging started in Epiphaneia, also known as the ruins of Issos, in 2006 as rescue excavation, and has been going on since then.

"We have discovered very nice floor mosaics. They are unique calendar mosaics which depict rural activities with personifications of each month," Banu Ozdilek, the advisor to the excavation, told Anadolu Agency.

She said the team discovered mosaics with personification of June and July in excavations this year.

"Here are figures and inscriptions within a geometric border. Tablets, meanwhile, feature the description of the month and the corresponding zodiac signs in the Roman astrology," she explained.

The Epiphaneia is the only ancient city of the Hatay province that has been preserved until today, Ozdilek said.

"The history of the city goes back 5,000 years, with ceramics dating to the Bronze Age. With examinations of materials and spatial analyses after discoveries, we identified the traces of 27 cultures without interruption until the Ottoman period," she said.

The team also unearthed coins from the Hellenistic, Byzantine, Ottoman and Abbasid periods, and glass findings and their workshops.

They also carried out experimental archaeological studies, and many millstones and stone mortars for wheat have been found, the excavation's advisor said.

"We have found that these values have continued incessantly from the Ancient Age to the present day."

Ozdilek said their aim is to earn Epiphaneia the title of an archaeological site, as they already launched projects to restore the findings unearthed during the excavations.

Read:  New Museum of Islamic Civilisations set to open Friday in Turkiye's largest mosque

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