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Lost Roman Treasure

Program Overview


NOVA follows an international team of archeologists as they work to save artifacts from Turkey's ancient city of Zeugma, which will be flooded when a new dam is filled.

The program:

  • details Zeugma's strategic location on the banks of the Euphrates River and the Silk Road.

  • describes how magnetometers and ground-penetrating radar were used to map the city's buried walls, streets, and buildings.

  • recounts the uncovering of an extensive sewer network and ancient Roman villa.

  • presents the historical and artistic treasures removed by archeologists, including elaborate Greek mythology mosaics.

  • illustrates the variety of expertise needed to locate, excavate, and interpret historical artifacts.

  • describes the conflicting goals of the residents, government officials, and archeologists.

  • details how 30,000 people were relocated and how the artifacts and mosaics not excavated were inundated by floodwaters when the dam was opened in 2000.

Teacher's Guide
Lost Roman Treasure
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