This year's excavations in the ancient city of Zeugma will begin next week in which 25 experts will participate.
Kutalmis Gorkay, head of the excavation team said that they were planning to convert Zeugma into an "Archeo-park," a unique center that contributes to the Turkish tourism. "However, preserving Zeugma in the best way is always our priority," he noted.
Gorkay went on to say that two scientists from the Swiss Mavors Institute would attend the excavations, and 4 major scientific studies would be carried out at the site.
"Within the framework of these studies, we will cover the unearthed villas with tents, unearth several public buildings, carry out the restoration of various pieces and conduct geophysical studies at Zeugma," he said.
The ancient city of Commagene was unearthed in the southeastern Turkish city of Gaziantep. It was originally founded as a Greek settlement by Seleucus I Nicator, one of the generals of the Alexander the Great, in 300 B.C. The population in the city was approximately 80,000.
In 64 B.C., Zeugma was conquered and ruled by the Roman Empire and with this shift the name of the city was changed into Zeugma, meaning "bridge-passage" or "bridge of boats." During the Roman rule, the city became one of the attractions in the region, due to its commercial potential originating from its geo-strategical location because the city was on the Silk Road connecting Antakya to China with a quay or pontoon bridge across the Firat River (Euphrates).
The ancient city was first discovered during archaeological excavations in 1987. Unique mosaics have been unearthed in the city to date.