A 2,700-year-old mosaic thought to belong to a wealthy Roman has been unearthed in a house-shaped compartment 10 metres below the ground in western Turkey.
The discovery came as a result of a raid carried out by Turkish police, officials said on Tuesday.
The police learned that illegal excavations were carried out in the garden of a residence close to the historical Kemeralti Bazaar and Agora Ruins in Izmir province where narrow streets do not allow vehicles to enter the neighbourhood.
After a month-long follow-up, the police arrested three suspects who were trying to excavate the historical remains by digging a tunnel.
From early Roman period
Following the arrests, experts from the Izmir Archeology Museum conducted research in the area and found a mosaic measuring 178 x171 centimetres and two fluted columns with a length of two metres belonging to the early Roman period covering the years 753-509 BC.
The mosaic, depicting two human figures with roosters, is thought to belong to a wealthy Roman and is usually found in the halls of houses, symbolising magnificence and wealth.
The suspects reportedly told the police that when they were drilling in the garden of the house to extract water, they noticed that the construction machine did not move beyond a certain level, and when they dug the well with a shovel, they found the mosaic and columns.
The area has been taken under protection following the discovery of the mosaic, which is said to be rare in the world.