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ANMED Issue: 2003-1
 
Surveys in Pisidia: Pednelissos 2001 - 2002
Lutgard VANDEPUT - Veli KÖSE
 

The first interdisciplinary surveys with a wide scope at Pednelissos within the Surveys in Pisidia Project were initiated in September 2001, under the scientific guarantee and support of Archaeological Institute of Köln University and with financial support provided by Thyssen Stiftung. Financial support is provided by DFG-Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft as of 2002. The ancient city is located at an altitude of ca. 650 m, on the western and southern slopes of Bodrumkaya Hill on the southern extremities of the Tauruses, near the village of Kozan in the township of Gebiz, Antalya. Although its location, only 75 km to the northeast of Antalya indicates membership of Pamphylia, it is clearly understood from the ancient sources that Pednelissos in fact belonged to Pisidia.

In 2001 and 2002 campaigns, major structures were studied parallel to the topographical mapping survey. In 2001 primarily the Agora and the well-preserved monuments around it, such as the market building, Basilica and monumental pillars, as well as the city gates were studied. In 2002, in addition to the completion of the work on the abovementioned structures, the Sanctuary of Apollo, bathhouse, the Imperial Temple on the main north-south street, and the temple in the lower city were studied. Further, as of 2002, the geophysical survey of the lower city, which lies mainly buried under the earth, was initiated.

City Plan
The first impression of the city is that it comprises two sectors: the upper city and the lower city. The upper city underwent intensive development so that many ancient streets are quite well preserved allowing their courses to be followed over a considerable distance. It can be inferred that these streets intersect at right angles and point to a regular city plan. As the north-south oriented streets run parallel to the slope, the west-east ones go uphill; therefore, they are interrupted by staircases in many places. The Hellenistic public centre fits into this planning.

 City Walls, Towers and Gates
The western section of the city walls are about 1500 m long and can, for the most part, be traced easily. The southern wall is especially well preserved. However, to the southwest of the Agora, the extension of the city wall can be hardly followed. The north and south extensions of the wall end in the abruptly rising rocks of the hillside. On the ridge of the hill are wall fragments preserved to various lengths and these are still today reached through climbing these Hellenistic staircases and streets and these stairs today, provide access to the modern fire watchtower built on the summit. Most of the gates have survived in good condition to the present day. The north gate has a square plan, it still stands to a great height, and has an entranceway in the wall. The adjoining wall is also well preserved and exhibits an excellent example of the bossed masonry technique. An inscription from the reign of Nerva reused in this wall determines the terminus post quem. Whereas the north gate has one tower by the entranceway, the well preserved west gate has an arched entranceway and a tower. The south gate allows access to the city via an indirect way. The rest of the defence areas are found in the lower city, where a gate, a quadrangular tower and a connected wall exist.

Monumental Public Centre
The Agora forms the monumental centre of the city and is located in an area of the upper city to be called the “city centre”. It is bordered to the slope on the south and the north with well preserved walls. The Agora covers a flat area of approximately 20x30 m and its floor is paved with large limestone blocks of alternating wide and narrow rows. One of the most important north-south streets connects the north gate to the monumental city centre. In time the Agora was adorned with honorary statues on pedestals, only one of which stands in situ today. The rest are either fallen down, lying around in the Agora or, have been reused in the construction of later structures.

 To the northwest of the Agora is a magnificent and well preserved market building of 38.50x8 m. The infrastructure of the Agora and the Market building itself were built together in the same construction phase. A preliminary study of the Market building pointed to three phases in its construction. Originally the structure was three-storied and the ground floor comprised a row of 8 shops, each of which was entered via a doorway on the west and lit by windows. In the first phase the building was constructed in an L-shape and in the second phase, at least two rooms in the north were altered. The middle story consisted of a large hall for storage purposes and the uppermost floor was a stoa of the Doric order facing the Agora. Similar examples can be found in Pergamon, Assos, Aigai, and Selge in Pisidia. To the southeast of the Agora is a well preserved Basilica, dating to the Early Christian period and measuring 30x16 m. It is a three aisled basilica, with columns separating the aisles. The quality of craftsmanship on the south and west walls and the spolia material from earlier structures suggest that the original structure here was built much earlier and was built to serve a different function.

A temple just to the north of the Agora is located on the north-south oriented street. It was built with architectural elements with lavish decoration and the inscription on the architrave verifies, it was a temple dedicated to the imperial cult, but to which Emperor it was dedicated is not known. The building measuring 7x9 m. has four plain columns on the façade and a Syrian type of pediment. A garland frieze extends over the architrave with three fasciae. The apse built later, on the rear wall shows that this temple was altered into a chapel in late antiquity.

Lower City
The most striking and best preserved structure in the lower city is the bathhouse, which measures 26x26 m. and has arched windows and doors on the west and north fronts. Its size is smaller than those in some Pisidian cities; yet, it is three storied on the west side and rests on the slope on the east. An alabastron relief decorates the keystone of the northwesternmost arch. The flat area to the south of the bathhouse could have been a palaestra.

Another monumental structure from the lower city is a temple, but only the podium has survived to the present day. The podium measures 33x18.50 m. and the cella 18.50x11 m. The podium and what remains of the cella walls of the temple, were built with large and finely cut blocks.

Geophysical surveys, including the use of geomagnetic and georadar systems, provided positive results on the heavily eroded and rocky slopes and revealed that there was no intersection between the city walls of the upper city, and the city gate and walls in the lower city, which are today mainly buried under the silt. In addition, it was understood that there are buildings under the earth, in the area between the city gate and the temple in the lower city.

Sanctuary of Apollo
To the south of the south city gate is a well preserved street leading to the remains of a sanctuary. The sanctuary is encircled with a temenos wall, only a small portion of which has survived. Within the temenos is a well preserved rock relief figure of a male deity. Based on the sceptre he holds with his left hand, he is believed to be Apollo. The presence of several architectural elements, of various sizes and belonging to a stone roofing system, suggests the possible presence of structures within this temenos area.

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