The Eros Mosaic: Fish Hunting in Yumurtalık Museum, Turkey

The Eros Mosaic: Fish Hunting in Yumurtalık Museum, Turkey

In the heart of Turkey's Adana Province lies the Yumurtalık Museum, home to a breathtaking ancient mosaic depicting Eros, also known as Cupid, in a captivating scene of fish hunting. This mosaic, with its intricate details and vibrant imagery, offers a glimpse into the artistic sophistication of the ancient world.

The Eros Mosaic

Discovery and Context:

  • The mosaic was uncovered during archaeological excavations in the Yumurtalık (Aegeae) region.
  • It dates back to the Roman period, when this region was a thriving port city in the province of Cilicia.

Depiction and Symbolism:

  • The mosaic features Eros, the Greek god of love, known as Cupid in Roman mythology.
  • He is depicted riding a fish while wielding a trident, showcasing his prowess in fish hunting.
  • Surrounding Eros are various marine creatures, including dolphins and other fish, which add to the scene's vibrancy.
  • The depiction of Eros emphasizes the connection between love and the sea, symbolizing fertility, abundance, and joy.
The Eros Mosaic: Fish Hunting in Yumurtalık Museum, Turkey

Artistic and Cultural Significance

Mosaic Artistry:

  • The mosaic is an exquisite example of Roman mosaic art, characterized by its use of colorful tesserae and intricate patterns.
  • The frame features a border of interlocking designs, adding depth and structure to the central scene.

Eros in Roman Art:

  • Eros was a popular subject in Roman art, often depicted as a playful child with wings, embodying the power of love.
  • His association with hunting in this mosaic aligns with the Roman tradition of using mythological figures in daily life scenes.

Cultural Importance:

  • Yumurtalık, known as Aegeae in ancient times, was a significant port city in Cilicia, facilitating trade between the Mediterranean and the hinterlands.
  • The mosaic reflects the wealth and cosmopolitan nature of the region, where Greek and Roman influences merged.

The Yumurtalık Museum

Museum Collection:

  • The Yumurtalık Museum preserves and displays artifacts from the region, including mosaics, pottery, and statues.
  • The Eros mosaic stands out as one of the most important pieces in the collection.

Educational Value:

  • The museum plays a vital role in educating visitors about the region's rich history and cultural heritage.
  • The Eros mosaic serves as a focal point, inviting viewers to explore the mythological and artistic traditions of ancient Turkey.


The Eros mosaic in the Yumurtalık Museum is a testament to the artistic brilliance of the Roman period. Its depiction of Eros fish hunting embodies both mythological symbolism and the region's cultural wealth. Visitors to the museum can marvel at this intricate masterpiece, gaining a deeper understanding of the ancient world's artistic and cultural sophistication.