Friday, October 28, 2016

Early Syriac mosaics from Turkey

SYRIAC WATCH: Rare 1st-century mosaic unearthed in southeastern Turkey (Daily Sabah).
Rare ancient mosaics, believed to date back to the 1st century BC, have been unearthed in the southeastern Şanlıurfa province of Turkey, the municipality said Wednesday.

Archaeologists have discovered five base mosaics from Abgar V (BC 4 – AD 7), the fifth king of the kingdom of Osroene (132 BC to AD 244), depicting fine engravings and Syriac inscriptions, as part of a project titled "The Castle Skirts". The mosaics will be displayed in museums after their restoration is completed.

The Syriac dialect of Aramaic developed in this region at about this very time, so it is quite significant to have such early Syriac inscriptions. Syriac was the dialect of the city of Edessa, but it developed from there into the language of the Eastern Church for many centuries.