Photo by Harf Zimmerman

Intensive excavation of Zeugma only began this past spring, however, when a newly built dam threatened to inundate the ancient city’s ruins. The planned flooding of the site drew international attention (and harsh criticism from the popular press) when last-minute excavations turned up not just a few salvageable antiquities but a whole neighborhood of partially intact villas (shown here, compare with mosaic depicting the ocean gods Oceanus and Tethys), full of frescoes, statues and breathtaking mosaics.