The Roman city of Zeugma (Turkey) conservation project.
In May of 2000, the New York Times published a cry of alarm for the Roman
city of Zeugma, in southeast Anatolia, Turkey. It was soon to be submerged
by the waters of the Euphrates, because a new dam was being built
downstream. The New York Times appeal was taken to heart by David Packard of
the Packard Humanities Institute (PHI) of California, who immediately
organized an action plan based on a "targeted" archaeological investigation
and on conservation in situ.
Under extreme climatic conditions, the conservators worked on site for six
months before the Euphrates waters, reaching their maximum level, defined
the new panorama of Zeugma, which is now a national archaeological park.
4000 finds and 160 m2 of surfaces were removed from the site, 8700 m2 of
archeological structures were reburied using 10,500 m3 of sand, pebbles and
stones. The program also included the restoration of almost 850 m2 ?of
figurate polychrome mosaics which represent today one of the most
extraordinary mosaics collections on display.