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Weaving History with Art: Prusias ad Hypium Ancient City

Excavations in Prusias ad Hypium Ancient City bring the traces of the past to light, especially with the rediscovery of the lion mosaic reflecting the "Dionysos Cult Space."

Located in Konuralp neighborhood in Düzce, Prusias ad Hypium Ancient City boasts a rich history dating back to the 3rd century BC. Initially known as "Hypios," the town was situated on a hill that stretches from east to west, ending in a plain near the Küçük Melen and Tabak Rivers. Over time, it changed its name to "Kieros." The Bithynians, led by King I. Prusias (230-182 BC), seized Kieros east of Sangarios in their campaign against the Mariandynians and the State of Heraclea. After placing a Bithynian Colony here, I. Prusias embellished and fortified the city with various monuments, eventually renaming it "Prusias" after himself. Thus, in the late 2nd century BC, Kieros faded from historical records, and the city assumed the name of the king.

The Ancient Theater, known locally as the "forty steps," was constructed during the Hellenistic period (300-30 BC) and underwent additions in the Roman era (30 BC-300 AD). In Prusias ad Hypium Ancient City, the two-tiered theater, including the backstage wall and a portion of the second tier's seating rows, has survived to the present day.

Kemerkasım Aqueducts preserve 11 support pillars from the city's ancient water infrastructure. Constructed with rubble stone, the aqueduct is believed to have carried water channels across it.

The Horse Gate, an I. Group monument, and its extension walls serve as the entrance gate to Prusias ad Hypium Ancient City. Inscribed recycled materials were used during various repairs of the city walls. The horse relief gate lintel, made of local limestone, features a depiction of a horse and a tombstone inscription in Greek dedicated to a Prusian's mother.

The Roman Bridge, belonging to the Roman era, stands out as a technical document built by assembling white marble blocks without the use of mortar.

The Western City Walls, measuring 4.70 meters in height and 118 meters in length, were constructed with cut stone blocks and revealed the use of recycled materials during repairs in the Eastern Roman era.

Konuralp Museum, established in 2003 to preserve the cultural heritage of Prusias ad Hypium Ancient City, contains a total of 6,237 artifacts, including 1,848 archaeological items, 491 ethnographic pieces, and 3,898 coins. The museum comprises three exhibition halls, one laboratory, two storage rooms, one conference hall, and administrative sections.

Natural stones used in ancient cities, despite the passage of thousands of years, still retain their beauty and durability. The lion mosaic discovered in Prusias ad Hypium Ancient City showcases the meticulous design of natural stones, demonstrating the timeless aesthetic power from the past to the present. Marble plates, intricately crafted white, blue, yellow, green, and brown tesserae form the mosaic floor in harmony with the wall measurements. The framed mosaic adorned with geometric patterns is made up of larger and more colorful tesserae, with a central square featuring drum and flute depictions. Each mosaic transforms into an original work of art in the hands of the artist, allowing each detail to narrate its unique story.

 

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