18 March 2012

Misis Mozaik Museum

The city of Misis, once known as Mopsuestia, was one of the main stops on the Silk Road and a place of settlement from the time of the Hittites right through the Ottoman period. At the one-story Misis Mozaik Museum you can see a mosaic of Noah’s Ark along with a sampling of other ruins from the Roman, Hittite, and Ottoman civilizations that dwelled in Turkey. The city also has a Roman bridge and a small castle.  The directions are easy: Head east on D-400 for about 15 minutes until you see a brown sign.  Turn right. Stay on that road about another 15-20 minutes until you see the museum on your left.

The Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture & Tourism says, “The museum was found to preserve mosaics excavated near Misis Mound in 1956. The animals pictured are believed to be taken to the ship by Noah. These mosaics existed at the bottom of a church belonging to Byzantine era. The animals are defined vividly and is a prime example showing how sophisticated the Çukurova mosaic was. The museum was enriched with other mosaics and architectural components that were brought from other ruins and Adana Archeology Museum.”

The mosaic floor is “from the 3rd Century AD Late Roman period,” according to the website istanbulportal.com. “After the mosaics had been repaired and cleaned they were opened to the public as a museum in 1959. The mosaic depicts the domestic and wild animals, which Noah took into his ark. Flower and geometric designs enhance the beauty of the mosaic.”

History of Misis
“Misis antique city was part of the historical Silk Road. The history of Misis begins with Misis Mound which dates back to Neolitic Age,” according to the Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture & Tourism. “Misis is said to be founded by Mopsos, one of the heroes of Troy. It was captured by Hititians, Assyrians, Macedonians and Selevkos and it became an important place in Roman and Byzantine ages. It was reconstructed during Abbasian period in A.D. 8th century.”

The Virual Tourist website describes the city of Misis as “on the caravan route that came from China, India and Persia. Called Mopsuestia or Mopsus or Mamistra, Misis is an ancient city of Cilicia Campestris on the Pyramus (also Pyramos, now the Ceyhan Nehri) river located approximately 20 km east of present-day Adana. Among the remains of Roman times, the most interesting is the elegant mosaic of the 4th century A.D representing Noah’s Ark.”

Courtesy of Erhan Cirik
The Misis Roman Bridge
Built in the 4th century, the nine-arch Misis Bridge, is a Roman relic of the ancient city. In the middle ages Mopsuestia was a big city and the bridge was built on one of the most active trade roads to east. It was commissioned by the Roman emperor Flavius Julius Constantinus (better known as Constantius II) in the forth century. It was restored by the Byzantine emperor Justinian I in the sixth century. (From Wikipedia the free online encyclopedia.)

According to legend, the secret to immortality is hid here. The in-flight magazine Skylife, for Turkish Airlines, writes "The Islamic sage Luqman the Wise, who dispensed medicinal potions he concocted from plants, discovered the secret of immortality one day in a flower that grew in the mountains. As he was dashing across the bridge in jubilation, the scrap of paper on which he had noted the formula was torn from his hand by the wind and flew into the Ceyhan River. Ever since, the secret to immortality has remained concealed in Çukurova’s unparalleled beauty and the diversity of its flora."

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The Republic of Turkey Ministry of Culture & Tourism

The Virtual Tourist

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