Archaeologists in southern Turkey have discovered what they call is a "skeleton mosaic". The mosaic was unearthed during an excavation in the province of Hatay.
The mosaic, which dates back to third century BC, features a skeleton figure sitting in a laid-back manner with a drinking pot in his hand. The meme on the mosaic is transcribed in ancient Greek which translates into English: "Be cheerful and live your life".
"There is a reckless skeleton with a drinking pot in his hand along with bread and a wine pot. The writing on it reads 'be cheerful and live your life," Turkey's state-run news agency Anadolu quoted archaeologist Demet Kara of the Hatay Archaeology Museum as saying, according to Hurriyet Daily News.
According to archaeologists, the mosaic that is made of black tiles may have been designed to adorn the dining room of a house as the ancient mosaic also bears two other scenes depicting the eating ritual of Romans, the then occupants of the region.
"Two things are very important among the elite class in the Roman period in terms of social activities: The first is the bath and the second is dinner. In the first scene, a black person throws fire. That symbolizes the bath," Kara explained.
The second scene on the Roman-era mosaic portrays a sundial and a young clothed man running towards it with a bare-headed butler behind, she said. "The sundial is between 9pm and 10pm. Nine is the bath time in the Roman period. He has to arrive at supper at 10 pm. Unless he can, it is not well received. There is writing on the scene that reads he is late for supper," she added.
Kara said that the find was one-of-its-kind in Turkey though similar mosaic has been found in Italy. However, she added that the skeleton mosaic "is much more comprehensive" and "is important for the fact that it dates back to the 3rd century BC".