ROMA ARCHEOLOGIA e RESTAURO ARCHITETTURA 2021. Apamea, Syria – “Oldest representation of Roman hydraulic wheel”; News, in: Prof. Kathryn Gleason (ed.), Gardens of the Roman Empire / Facebook (11/2020)). S.v., Traffico Internazionale: Siria. Caccia al mosaico dell’antica Apamea; in: ARCHEO n. 412 (06/2019): 8-10 [in PDF] & Prof. Marek T. Olszewski / University of Warsaw / Poland (13/01/2021).
1). ROMA / Antica Apamea – Oldest representation of Roman hydraulic wheel – Prof. Kathryn Gleason (ed.), Gardens of the Roman Empire / Facebook (04/2021).
On the Facebook / group, Prof. Kathryn Gleason (ed.), Gardens of the Roman Empire / Facebook (04/2021 [= 25/11/2020]), the following Facebook post / article:
— “It is fascinating that the mosaic comes from Apamea, near modern Hama, the Syrian city still famous for its traditional water wheels”. News: Archaeology – Oldest representation of Roman hydraulic wheel – Revealed on photos of stolen mosaic. Archaeology / Wiki / Blog. (25/11/2020).
Researchers from the University of Warsaw have determined that a mosaic stolen from Apamea in present-day Syria is the oldest representation of a Roman hydraulic water wheel. Apamea was an ancient Greek and Roman city that was founded around 300 BC by Seleucus I Nicator, one of the Diadochi rivals who fought for control over the empire founded by Alexander the Great after his death. In 64 BC, Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (also known as Pompey the Great) marched on Apamea, annexing the city as part of the Roman province of Syria. In response to an earthquake in AD 115 (known as the 115 Antioch earthquake), the Romans rebuilt Apamea with a typical Roman street grid system, and large public works such as aqueducts, bathhouses, and a theatre. The mosaic was stolen from Apamea by looters conducting illegal excavations back in 2011, and sold to antique collectors on the black market. The looters published photographs online of the mosaic to facilitate the illegal sale, which has now been studied by researchers from the Faculty of Archaeology at the University of Warsaw.
According to researchers, the mosaic is approx. 19 sq metres and consists of three stripes with figural representations, and shows a huge hydraulic wheel, or noria, which is very rare to be illustrated in contemporary iconographic sources. Dr Marek T. Olszewski from the UW Institute of Archaeology announced that the stolen mosaic demonstrates the earliest example of a hydraulic wheel known to date, and probably dates from the first half of the 4th century AD, perhaps from the time of Emperor Constantine the Great (306-337 AD)”. Hydraulic water wheels were driven by the current of a river and were used to lift water drawn from a river into an aqueduct to irrigate fields, and supply major settlements with water for public fountains, thermal baths, and high-status villas. In the mosaic sample studied, researchers conclude that it features a wooden wheel installed on a pyramidal structure, to draw water from the Orontes River to supply a Roman bathhouse that consisted of a pool and slide. The whereabouts of the mosaic are unknown and is the subject of an ongoing investigation by Interpol.
Foto / fonte / source:
— Prof. Kathryn Gleason (ed.), Gardens of the Roman Empire / Facebook (25/11/2020]).
— Archaeology / Wiki / Blog. (25/11/2020).
For further information on the mosaic(s) stolen from Apamea, Syria; also see in English / Italian the following articles:
2). NEWS – Discovery of oldest representation of a water wheel on a Roman mosaic from Apamea. University of Warsaw / Poland (13/01/2021).
Recent studies conducted by researchers from the Faculty of Archeology at the University of Warsaw contributed to a discovery of particular importance. On the famous figural mosaic, a huge hydraulic wheel was discerned. According to Prof. Marek T. Olszewski, it is currently known as the oldest representation of a noria. In the research conducted at the Faculty of Archeology of the University of Warsaw, in cooperation with the Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums (DGAM) in Damascus, regarding stolen mosaics from the archaeological sites in Syria a huge hydraulic wheel (noria) was identified on the lowest strip of a figural mosaic, dated to the first half of the 4th century AD, or perhaps to Constantinian time (306-337 CE). According to Prof. Marek T. Olszewski from the Faculty of Archeology of the University of Warsaw, this representation of a noria – is about 150 years older than the previously known mosaic representation, also discovered at Apamea.
Fonte / source:
— Prof. Marek T. Olszewski / University of Warsaw / Poland (13/01/2021).
2.1). Polish archaeologist determined the exact date of foundation of an important ancient city. Science in Poland / Minister of Science and Higher Education (05/08/2019).
One of the largest Hellenistic cities, Apamea, whose ruins are located in modern day Syria, was founded in the autumn of 320 BC, determined Prof. Marek T. Olszewski from the University of Warsaw. Until now, researchers only theorised when it had happened.
Fonte / source:
— Science in Poland / Minister of Science and Higher Education (05/08/2019).
3). Prof. Marek T. Olszewski / Dr. Houmam Saad, Traffico Internazionale: Siria. Caccia al mosaico dell’antica Apamea; in: ARCHEO n. 412 (06/2019): 8-10 [in PDF].
Un mosaico romano portato alla luce de scavi clandestini condotti nel sito dell’antica Apamea di Siria. Scoperta nel 2011 e subito trafugata, l’opera – tuttora ricercata dell’Interpol – rappresenta tre scene rare e particolarmente interessanti dal punto di vista storico : la fondazione della colonia militare (katoikia) di Pella, sull’Oronte, per mano del leggendario Archippo ; la rifondazione della polis di Apamea (sul sito della stessa Pella) da parte di Seleuco I Nicatore, nonché l’atto di magnanimità di suo moglie, Apama I, nei confronti della nuova città ; e, infine, l’immagine della vita prospera e felice ondotta nella valle dell’Oronte e nei dintorni di Apamea. Il mosaico è databile al IV secolo d.C. Questo mosaico possiede un’importanza particolare come fonte per la storia della creazione della prima colonia militare di Pella (che divenne poi Apamea) in Siria. E opinione di chi scrive che secondo la fonte a noi sconosciuta che ha inspiroato l’artefice del mosaico, Pella (Apamea) venne fondata nel 320 a.C., all’indomani del trattato di Triparadiso, presso Baalbeck. La nascita della colonia di Pella (Apamea) precedette di circa 13 anni la creazione della capitale di Antigono, Antigoneia, che divenne poi Antiochia, capitale dell’impero seleucide e capitale virtuale dell’Oriente romano.
Fonte / source:
— Prof. Marek T. Olszewski / Dr. Houmam Saad, academia.edu. (02/2021).
— Prof. Marek T. Olszewski / Dr. Houmam Saad, Researchgate.net. (02/2021).