July 28, 2006
DAMASCUS — A large mosaic dating back to Roman times has been found buried among ruins in southeast Syria, the ruling party newspaper Al-Baath said Thursday.
“A mosaic 3.5 meters [nearly 12 feet] high and three meters wide, dating from the Roman era, has been found in Majdal, Suweida province,” the region’s director of antiquities was quoted as saying.
“The themes on the mosaic are inspired by Greek mythology,” he added.
Suweida’s two main museums hold major collections of mosaics discovered in the region, showing symbols of Greek such as Dionysis, god of the vine, and Aphrodite, goddess of beauty and love.
“The mosaic formed the floor of a public thermal baths whose pipes, made from stone, have also been saved,” the newspaper said.
Suweida, a mountainous region in the country’s southeast, is well known for its Greek and Roman remains.
The Romans occupied the region from 60 BC, and Shahba, the birthplace of Syrian emperor Philippe who reined in Rome from 244 to 249, has many mosaics, temples, thermal baths, and a theater.