1,700-year old Roman villa ruins found in the site of Prusias ad Hypium, by the Black Sea coast


Prusias ad Hypium was a late Roman era city in the Anatolian province of Honorias (encompassing ancient Bithynia and Paphlagonia), with its ruins present in the Aynalı village in modern Turkey’s Black Sea province of Düzce. And now archaeologists have discovered the remnants of an ancient Roman villa within the site, dating from around 4th century AD. Boasting a mosaic of 128 sq m (1,380 sq ft), the 1700-year old villa also incorporated other opulent spatial features including a bath in the courtyard and a separate pool.

According to a statement made by Düzce Governor Ali Fidan –

Here we have found the ruins of a 1,700-year-old villa from 300-400 AD, as well as a mosaic with a diameter of 128 square meters. Officials are continuing their work. The villa shows that the settlement existed here in that era and the historical city of Prusias reached out to this region.

He also added –

Konuralp has a rich cultural heritage. The villa shows this richness. What we should do here is to promote and protect it after excavation works. We need to accelerate these works. Tourism need to develop in Konuralp, where we have 46 registered structures. They are mosques, museums, monumental Roman bridges and 41 personal registered places. Restoration should be made as a whole. Our museum in Konuralp is on the way to becoming the world’s most important museums displaying Roman-era artifacts.

Interestingly enough, the researchers have also found coins in the area, as a part of the ongoing excavation project. The find suggests the apparent economic richness of the area, in spite of the tendency of ancient authors (like Pliny and Ptolemy) to make mere mentions of Prusias ad Hypium, instead of detailed descriptions. Unfortunately in the current context, only parts of the mosaic and other components can be displayed at the local museum on account of the establishment being too small. To that end, the archaeologists are looking forth to physically restore the other sections of the villa for visitors who could directly appreciate the opulence of Roman living standards.

And since we are talking about the features of a ritzy Roman villa, the compounds of such residences were bigger than typical Roman houses (domus), and as such also consisted of a thermae – a bathing facility specifically constructed within the compound of the residence. As a nifty reconstruction example, this particular video with its amazing animation (sourced from Gilles Saubestre’s YouTube channel) showcases the Roman domus of Domitia Longina, wife to the Roman Emperor Domitian, who lived from 55-126 AD.

Article Source: Hurriyet Daily News

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