’Achilles' mother in Byzantine mosaic in Urfa.’
A large mosaic in the ancient town of Edessa shows several scenes from the life of the Greek warrior Achilles. This detail shows Thetis, the sea-goddess who was Achilles' mother, dipping the infant in a bowl of Styx water, making him invulnerable. Only the heel, by which she was holding him, was not touched by the sacred water and this will ensure Achilles' death when he is hit in the foot by a poisoned arrow during the Troyan War.
The 5/6 th century floor mosaic can be found in the "Villa of the Amazons", a palatial house, that probably belonged to an important administrator of the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, who lived in Edessa (nowadays called Urfa). The remains of the villa were discovered in 2006 near the center of Urfa. Photo Mick Palarczyk.