The excavation in Zeugma, taking in place in the region that will go under the waters of Birecik Dam has been completed as of Oct.4.2000
The first excavations strarted in 1987 in the region and in 1992 systematic excavations started. Starring in May 1999 excavation were carried on nonstop untill Oct.4.2000 After the excavations are completed in A.B. regions which will soon be covered by dam waters it is planned to start the excavations in section C which is estimated to consist of official buildings. This region will be dig to form an open air museum.It is still not clear who will do the excavations and how and by whom it will be supported financially.
Packard Humanities Institute is still waiting for a reply from the Turkish Ministry Of Culture after making a suggestion of 50 million dollars for the excavation in region C and forming the open air museum. They have already provided a 5 million dollars contribution.
Sertok says that 330 people worked in Zeugma,230 workers and 100 archaeologist,during the emergengy excavations. All finding have been documented on computers by drawings information and by being photographed. He said that a nonfrofit organization Packard Humanities Institute stopped the excavations on Oct.4. and since then work on documentation, restoration and preparing for publications would go on.. He says that in the excavation center they have built a large labratory to carry out the restoration and conservation processes. He says some of the mosaics have been carried to the garden of the Gaziantep Museum and he indicates his concern that those should be carried indoors before the fainfalls. And that they are also building a workshop in the museum garden to go on with restoration and conservation. He says that all the scientific work is being done to pass on these priceless objects and art pieces of history to the future generations. He also adds the Turkish experts are working on fresk and Italian on the the mosaics.
Section C of Zeugma will not be effected by the dam lake.It is estimated that this section mostly has official buildings and tamples.Section C covers a larger area then sections A and B.Excavations in this part is planned to be different then of section A and B. It is planned to be series of excavations spread through the next years. It is aimed to lookat the site as a whole and use these historical heritage for the development of the region in both turistical and recreatinoal ways. PHI suggests co – operation during the excavations in section C too.İt is estimated that the project will have the same budget annually. The goal is to bring to daylight the magnificient remnants from Roma era and turn it into an open air museum like Ephesus.
Excavations at Zeugma Antique site Roman era from by river Euphretesin Nizip/Gaziantep has been completed and Zeugma is now hibernating. The Director of Gaziantep Museum Mr Kemal Sertok says that o good job has been done at Zeugma and there is nothing to regret when they look back.He says that they are happy to have completed a good season and to have been able to bring many priceless findings to the Gaziantip Museum like the 155 cm tall bronse Mars statue, number of small statues, rings, figures, seal prints, bronze oil lamps and some verious object beloning to the Helenistik Era.
Sertok said that they could reach a good result with the co-work of Turkish, Italian, English and French experts. He says ”we did our utmost to complete the task the best way we can” The Packard Humanites Institute first donated 5 million and by that computer systems and techological devices could be used to its maximum. The excavations at Zeugma has been done under burning sun. Thanks to PHI , after long hours of labor under hot sun the archeologistc found shelter and comfort.We are greatfull to all who has contributed to this project and without PHI’s support we couldn’t have succecded to this extent.
Sertok says that section A and section B is now covered by dam waters and adds that the best that could be done has been done,in these two sections.He wenton”We should now look at section C which will not be effected by the dam lake.İt is claimed that the clayey.Soil around in section C can cave in but this can only happen at the first 1-2 m of the land surmunding the lake.This is a completely tecnical matter and section c is 70 % of all Zeugma strongly belive that some very good things will be achieved in section C too.When we first startad the excavations in section B there were some doubts but we are all very much satisfied by what we have done there and the same will be done in section C too.
This is not only my opinion everyone who is involved in this project share my feelings,that what was done in Zeugma was the broadest excavations in scope everdone in Turkey and even in the world.

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