UNL Students Uncover ‘An Occasion to Smile’ in Turkey Excavation


December 18th, 2018

An NET News interview with UNL art history professor Michael Hoff shed some light on the results of an excavation in Turkey by Nebraska students, including details on artifacts that they found there.

The excavation in an ancient latrine in southern Turkey–in what was originally a Roman town–found mosaics depicting not just ancient scenes, but riffs or puns on those scenes. Given that the mosaics were placed within a latrine. . .well, one might conclude that this was an ancient form of “bathroom humor,” right?

“Yes, I’ve never laughed as something that we’ve found before,” says Hoff. “You know, we find dead bodies, we find buildings, all of that is scientifically interesting, but I’ve never had an occasion to smile and laugh or crack a joke about something that we’ve found before, so that’s pretty novel in our book.”

A number of ancient coins, perhaps deposited by Barbary pirates in the 17th century, were also found. Hoff says that students will return to the site every year, as there is more to uncover.

For more on this story, visit NET News.

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