Zeugma, is an antique city which flourished in Roman Empire, currently located 10 km east from Gaziantep, by the river Euphrates. It’s a historical settlement which is considered among the four most important settlement areas under the reign of the kingdom of Commagene.
The ancient city of Zeugma was originally founded as a Greek settlement by Seleucus I Nicator, one of the generals of Alexander The Great, in 300 BC. At that time the city was named after the general and called “ Selevkaya Euphrates.”
In 64 B.C., Zeugma was conquered and ruled by Roman Empire. With this shift, the name of the city was changed into Zeugma to mean “bridge-passage.” Because, the Zeugma city was on the silkroad connecting Antiach to China with a quay on the river Euphrates. During the roman rule, the city became one of the attractions in the region due to its commercial potential originating from geostrategic location.
The importance of the city increased as well upon the settlement of a military garrison called IV Legion. Artistic activities increased in the city and a cultural development is achieved parallely to progress in trade volume.

After an invasion by Sassanians and an earthquake right after, the city was fully destroyed. Zeugma was not able to recover for a long time and the city never regained the prosperity once achieved during the Roman rule.
During the 5th and 6th Centuries, the city was ruled by the Early Byzantine Empire. As a result of the Arab raids, the city was abandoned once again. Finally a village called “Belkis” was founded in the 17th century. Later on Belkis/Zeugma became one of the four major attractions of the Kingdom of Commagene.

For more details about the deep history of Zeugma, magnificent ruins of the ancient city and the best base-mosaics exhibited in Gaziantep Museum are really worth to see.