Prusias ad Hypium was a city in ancient Bithynia, which came under the rule of the Roman Republic in 74 BC. Today it is located in the Konuralp district of Düzce, Türkiye. The city developed as an important trade center, maintaining autonomy in local government and even issuing its own currency.
The excavations, which continue with the support of Düzce University Archaeology Department, Konuralp Museum and Düzce Municipality, have discovered new findings.
The excavation team working in the upper part of the Hellenistic theater (300-30 BC), popularly known as the ‘forty steps’, found a mosaic with a lion in a structure connected to the portico.
Experts believe that the newly discovered mosaic room represents a space where a late Roman society expressed a general way of life, including values, beliefs, traditions, art and other cultural elements.
The new find, with wall dimensions of approximately 4.51×6.42 meters, was planned as a rectangle in the north-south direction of the room, with the inner walls covered with marble slabs over a thick layer of mortar.
To the north of the room, there was a platform foundation towards the interior. It was found that the entire room was covered with a mosaic floor made of white, blue, yellow, green and brown tesserae (small mosaic stones of various colors). The edges of the mosaic, decorated with geometric patterns, were made in the form of a frame made of larger and colored tesserae, while the center depicted a scene made of smaller tesserae.
Experts state that this is the “Dionysus Cult Place” based on the drum and flute depictions found in this area and the artifacts found inside the room.
About the new finding, Düzce Governor Selçuk Aslan said to AA; “During the ongoing excavations in the Ancient City of Prusias ad Hypium, a well-preserved and rare mosaic structure of its period, depicting two lions looking at a pine tree in the ancient theater, and drums and pan flutes on the branches of the tree, was unearthed.”
Düzce Mayor Faruk Özlü stated that there has been another new development in the theater excavations and stated that the area decorated with mosaics is a well-preserved structure that reflects its period. “We encounter a new artifact every day in the excavations. The last artifact we found is a lion mosaic. A unique mosaic was discovered in Türkiye. This mosaic is an important element of the ancient theater here that has not seen the light of day. We had previously found a statue of Medusa, a statue of Apollo and a statue of Alexander the Great. This is the fourth important artifact we have found. The more we see these artifacts, the better we realize what an important job we are doing. This is the heart of Düzce”
Excavations show that the city bears the characteristics of the Hellenistic period. The surviving ruins include the remains of the city walls, a gate within the walls, an open-air theater, an aqueduct and a Roman bridge. According to researchers, the room was dedicated to the cult of Dionysus. During Dionysian processions, it was common to observe him participating by playing musical instruments such as pan flutes.