A new mosaic inscribed with quotes from the Bible has been discovered in the southern city of Adana during excavations jointly undertaken by the Culture and Tourism Ministry's Cultural Heritage Department and the Provincial Directorate of Museums. The 120-square-meter mosaic was found on private property located in the Karlık neighborhood of Adana's Sarıçam district. According to archaeologists, the Eastern Roman-era mosaic dates back to between the fifth and sixth centuries A.D.
It features 16 different animal figures, including a snake, lion, sheep, leopard, wolf, goat and bull. Wild and domestic animals are portrayed as sleeping and being fed together or eating each other's food. A related ancient Greek text describing how wild and domestic animals lived together and shared the same pasture was translated by a group of researchers commissioned by the museum directorate. The translated text quotes the Biblical chapter of Isaiah (65:25), including: "The wolf and the lamb will feed together, the lion will eat straw like the ox and dust will be the serpent's food. They will neither harm nor destroy on my holy mountain, says the Lord." Scientific research continues on the mosaic, and it has been brought to the laboratory of a new museum complex under construction at the historical National Textile Factory in Adana. Sabri Tari, the head of the Provincial Culture and Tourism Directorate, said they are conducting important projects to improve the city's tourism potential with the support of Culture and Tourism Minister Ömer Çelik.
The ministry supports excavation projects around the city, and the artifacts will be displayed under ideal conditions at a new museum. Tari said excavations continue at 15 different locations, including the city center, and districts under the supervision of the provincial museum directorate. "We were excited to discover the artifact. It will be one of the rare pieces in our museum. Following restoration and renovation projects at the laboratory, the new museum will display all discovered artifacts," he said. Spread across a 68,000-square-meter area, the museum will include different parts, such as sections dedicated to agricultural, industrial and ethnographic findings.
Nedim Dervişoğlu, deputy head of the Adana Museum, said they are conducting 15 ongoing excavations with the support of the ministry. Pointing to the small number of existing mosaics in Turkey, Dervişoğlu said: "We found the mosaic in an area that is presumably a building's floor. It is 15 meters long and eighteen meters wide. It is one of the mosaics featuring quotes from the Bible, and is an important piece for our museum."