The ancient site of Belkıs/Zeugma was once an important city of the Commagene Kingdom. It is situated about 50 km from the modern city of Gaziantep, on the banks of the Euphrates. Its name derives from the bridge of boats that in ancient times connected the river banks in this place, forming one of the three major river crossings of the region. The significant part of this archaeological site is now lost under the waters of the Birecik Dam, and its most spectacular artefacts - the extraordinary mosaics - are now displayed in the magnificent Zeugma Mosaic Museum in Gaziantep.
May 2018 was a busy month for the archaeologists working in the area of Turkey, including those active in the ancient site of Lyrboton Kome in the southern province of Antalya, in Milas, and in the newly discovered site in Bayburt. Moreover, two new museums were announced to open soon: in Uşak to display the world-famous treasure belonging to the Lydian King Croesus, and in Van, to present Urartian artifacts.
Standing on a steep hill overlooking the waters of Van Lake, Van Fortress is the sight to remember. It used to be the seat of the Urartian kings that ruled over the region in the beginnings of the first millennium BCE. Antonio Sagona and Paul Zimansky called their state "the kingdom of fortresses", and Van Fortress is the most impressive of these structures.
Sometimes, during a journey that was supposed to be rather uneventful, you can come across an unexpected historical monument. It is especially true in Turkey, where many monuments of the eastern region's rich past are still poorly documented and described. One of such monuments is the double Çarpıran Bridge that stands next to the important E99 route, connecting Diyarbakır and Van.