A few days ago we talked about a very rare Roman mosaic in Cyprus that depicts chariot racing from the ancient times. Well this time around, archaeologists have excavated an ancient mosaic portraying the Greek god Poseidon in the picturesque southern Turkish coastal province of Adana (Yumurtalık district). The artwork was found in the frigidarium section (the cold pool) of a Roman-style bath, within the confines of the ancient settlement of Aegae. The depiction of Poseidon is accompanied by a Greek inscription that simply suggests – ‘greetings to all of you bathing.’
According to Adana Museum Deputy Director Nedim Dervişoğlu –
During excavations, we found a mosaic on a field over a space of 11.39 square meters. It is separated into two main panels. The depiction in the southeastern part of the mosaic has been completely destroyed while the depiction in the north shows Poseidon carrying a trident. There are dolphins in the right and left of Poseidon. When the excavations are completed around the mosaic, the depiction will be meaningful. We believe it dates back to 4th-2nd century BC.
Now the last part of the archaeological assessment pertaining to the date creates some timeline confusion. That is because even by late 2nd century BC, the Roman Republic only held parts of the western Anatolia; though the situation remarkably changed by 1st century BC (circa 66 BC) when the Romans pushed forth and controlled larges swathes of Anatolia and even Caucasus.
To that end, the ancient settlement of Aegae might have been a well-established town under Seleucid (Greek) control. In fact, the region was already known for or its health facilities dedicated to Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine; so much so that Aegae was probably home to one of the largest Asclepius in the world. And reverting to the historical timeline, the city was also one of the strategic naval bases of the later Roman Empire. In any case, if interested, you can take a gander at the Youtuber EmperorTigerstar’s time lapse animation that showcases the territorial changes of the Romans (for every year) from 509 BC to 1453 AD.