Zeugma is an ancient city founded by Selevkos I Nikator, one of the generals of Alexander the Great around 300 BC.
Today, it is on the outskirts of the Belkıs neighborhood, 10 km from the Nizip district of Gaziantep. The city, which was first called “Selevkaya Euphrates” which means Selevkosya in the Euphrates on behalf of its founder, was captured by the Roman Empire and was called “Zeugma”, which means bridge. Antioch (Antakya) gained great commercial value as a port in the passage between China and the Euphrates.
The A and B sections where the villas and bazaars of the city, which were examined in three sections as A, B and C during excavations, are under the Birecik Hydroelectric Dam Lake today. It is planned to create an open air museum in the C section, which has not been excavated yet. The ancient city is world-famous for its mosaics from the Roman period.
After the mosaics removed from the Zeugma excavations were exhibited in the Gaziantep Archeology Museum for a while, they moved to the Zeugma Mosaic Museum in 2011.
Chronological history of Zeugma
- 300 BC - Selevkos I Nikator, one of the Generals of Alexander the Great, built the city of Selupkeya Euphrates, the first settlement of Zeugma
- 1st century BC - Selevkaya Euphrates name of the city is preserved and becomes one of the 4 major cities of the Commagene Kingdom.
- 1. century - In the first quarter of the 1st century, it joined the territory of the Roman Empire and its name was changed to "Zeugma", which means "bridge", "passage".
- 252 - Sassanid King I. Squad Belkıs / Zeugma captures and burns them
- 4th century - Belkıs / Zeugma enters late Roman domination.
- 5-6. century - Belkıs / Zeugma It came under the early Roman domination.
- 7th century - Belkıs / Zeugma is abandoned as a result of Islamic Raids.
- 10-12. century - A small Islamic settlement is formed.
- 16th century - Belkıs Village is established with its current name.