Turkey to open ‘world's largest’ intact mosaic this year

An archaeological museum in Turkey’s southeastern province of Hatay expects to open to the public this year a 1,300-year old, 1,200-square-meter work considered the world’s largest intact mosaic, Anadolu Agency reported on Tuesday.

The mosaic was discovered nine years ago during the construction of a hotel in Hatay, which hosts an archaeology museum that displays a highly regarded collection of Roman and Byzantine era mosaics. 

“The mosaic will be exhibited in its original place and be open to visitors very soon,” Nalan Çopuroğlu Yastı, director of the Hatay Archaeology Museum, told Anadolu.

According to archaeologists, the sixth century mosaic made up of geometric shapes and non-repeating figures was probably used as a public space at the time. 

Yastı described it as the world’s largest intact mosaic, a reference to the fact that many ancient mosaics are damaged, with large sections missing, when they are discovered. 

The museum to be opened at the basement of the hotel will include other artefacts unearthed during excavations, Yastı said. 

"The stone is distinctive due to its curved, rug-like surface, and the artefact was curved as a result of earthquakes in 526 and 528 A.D.,” said Yastı.