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New Tetrarchic Reliefs from Nikomedia: Uncovering the Colorful Life of Diocletian’s Lost Capital

New Tetrarchic Reliefs from Nikomedia: Uncovering the Colorful Life of Diocletian’s Lost Capital

Objective

Ancient Nikomedia, Emperor Diocletian’s administrative capital of the Roman Empire, now lies below the modern industrial city of İzmit in Turkey. Until recently very little has been known of its urban landscape, although it was famous from literary descriptions. However, recent salvage excavations have revealed polychromic reliefs and statues of a monumental imperial cult complex from Çukurbağ district of modern İzmit. The complex dates from Tetrarchy, when Diocletian ended the 3rd century crisis through several reforms including the rule of four emperors. The newly discovered reliefs include 75 monumental panels, the only surviving state reliefs with extensively preserved ancient paint, that bear imperial, historical, and mythological scenes. These illuminate civic life of the ancient metropolis under Diocletian’s new administration and provide crucial evidence for the little-known art of this period. Working as the director of Çukurbağ Archaeological Project since 2015, I have been conducting multidisciplinary scientific research on these new finds. This fellowship will enhance this research and introduce and analyse this unique discovery, the only known example of a Tetrarchic complex from Asia Minor, through an authoritative scholarly monograph.
Leaflet | Map data © OpenStreetMap contributors, Credit: EC-GISCO, © EuroGeographics for the administrative boundaries

Coordinator

THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD

Address

Wellington Square University Offices
Ox1 2jd Oxford

United Kingdom

Activity type

Higher or Secondary Education Establishments

EU Contribution

€ 224 933,76

Project information

Grant agreement ID: 834799

Status

Grant agreement signed

  • Start date

    2 September 2019

  • End date

    1 September 2021

Funded under:

H2020-EU.1.3.2.

  • Overall budget:

    € 224 933,76

  • EU contribution

    € 224 933,76

Coordinated by:

THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD

United Kingdom