November 14, 2023

Kate Mothes

Photos by Sercan Küçükşahin for Anadolu Ajansı

As the warmer months came to a close in İncesu, Keyseri, Turkey, archaeologists currently at work in a sprawling ancient complex announced that the Roman-era mosaics they uncovered—already recognized as the largest ever found in the region—just keep getting bigger.

İncesu sits atop the ancient town of Sadogora, or Sadacora, a late Roman and early Byzantine municipality, remnants of which were originally encountered in 2010. Initial excavations brought a series of beautiful mosaic floors to light, some bearing Latin and Greek inscriptions. Legal reasons prevented any further work until 2020, but when archaeologists resumed digging, it wasn’t long before they realized they were unearthing a site of epic proportions.

By the end of the 2021 season, ten rooms of what archaeologists are tentatively designating a 4th-century Roman villa of great significance, boasted more than 3,000 square feet of mosaic floors in excellent condition. This year, the excavation more than doubled its surface area, exposing 6,500 square feet of mosaics out of a total 43,000 square feet that has been excavated across the entire site.

Can Erpek, a professor of Byzantine art and archaeology at Nevsehir Haci Bektas Veli University, posits that the site may have been an imperial structure, perhaps belonging to rulers or administrators of the region. He says, “We are talking about a high-end residence spread over a very large area; a residence with 33 rooms, (and) we have not reached the limits of this residence. We foresee that the current residence will expand even further with our excavations that will continue next year.” (via The History Blog)


A Roman mosaic viewed from above.

A side-by-side image of two photographs featuring aerial views of highly detailed and complete Roman-era mosaics.

An aerial view of a Roman-era mosaic featuring geometric spirals and a Latin inscription in a circle.

An oblique view of a Roman-era mosaic featuring geometric spirals and a Latin inscription in a circle. An overview of an archaeological site in Turkey where numerous Roman-era mosaics have been uncovered.



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