Home Page Issues Order Form Links Contact Türkçe
Advanced Search  
Click here to visit Akmed Adalya Web Site
If you would like to get announcement mails about Akmed activities, please subcribe to our mailling list.
First name:
Last name:
ANMED Issue: 2004-2
The Pisidian Survey Project: Surveys in Pednelissos 2003
Lutgard VANDEPUT - Veli KÖSE

With the permission granted by the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and Museums, the third season of surveys in ancient Pednelissos was carried out from the 1st through to the 29th of September by the Department of Classical Archaeology at Köln University with a large group of scholars, comprising specialists from many disciplines. This survey was under the direction of Dr. L. Vandeput, director, and Dr. V. Köse, the deputy director, and was carried out by both scholars and students from Turkey, Germany and Belgium.

The Topographical Map
 The topographical mapping of the northern part of the city, where the North Necropolis lies was completed in the 2003 season. The part of the northern fortifications extending west from the gate, has bossed and thick blocks and belongs to the oldest constructional phase. In a second phase, the extensions to the eastern and western wings of this gate were rebuilt, together with the section including the western and southern gates of the city. Just next to the gates an adjoining tower was built. Probably in this period too, a new fortification wall was built in the Lower City, thus enlarging the city towards the west. The third phase includes ancient repairs here and there to the walls and gates. An inscribed block dated to the 2nd century A.D. was reused in the western jamb of the North Gate and provides a dated reference point for these repairs. Similarly, repairs are observed, made especially to the South gate and at points on the walls. Further, probably in this period, an arched doorway was opened in the

 The Basilicas
In 2003, a team of two explored the Late Antique basilicas of Pednelissos, which are among the important monuments of the city. In the previous two seasons, the plans of two basilicas were prepared. The six basilicas are situated in the following locations: just to the southeast of the agora; just to the north of the agora, on the north-south street; just to the northeast of the western tower; in the southwestern part of the city within the walls; just to the northeast of the big temple in the Lower City; while the last is to the southwest of the Apollo Sanctuary outside the walls. All of these basilicas are three-aisled. Our surveys showed that the one in the southwestern part of the city within the walls was the main basilica of the city, based upon both the construction and the architectural decoration employed.

The Monumental Gate in the Lower City: The archaeological and geophysical surveys in the 2001 and 2002 seasons revealed the presence of a street starting from just to the right of the city gate in the Lower City and leading to the Upper City, and a monumental gate building, just to the south of the baths and about halfway along this street, together with an open square, which this gate leads into. From this gate, with its two, or possibly three, apertures, a few steps lead down into the open square that is like an agora. Most of the blocks are not visible today because they are either buried or they were reused in some structure elsewhere.

 The Monumental Tombs in the North and South Necropolises: Together with the preparation of the topographical map of the North Necropolis, several monumental tombs that were thought to be of importance were surveyed in detail. One tomb is of a new tomb type first seen in 2002. This new tomb type looks like a niche with an aedicule. The top is saddle shaped, and on top and at the corners are palmette - acroteria. Based on the holes on the corners, it is plausible to think that these niches were closed by door leafs of timber or some other material. Also during our surveys in the North Necropolis, small tumuli, similar to those that have been found at Ariassos and Sia in Pisidia, were discovered. One tumulus had already been disturbed and plundered by illegal digging. Geophysical surveys in the South Necropolis revealed the presence of tombs that were entirely buried below the surface. Work in both the South and North Necropolises of Pednelissos revealed important data concerning the burial traditions of both the local populations and the Pisidians. Apart from the two burial types mentioned above, cornered ostotheks of the Hellenistic period, that are commonly found in other cities of Pisidia are also found in Pednelissos, and they too, have depictions of doors on the short sides. Only one carries the depiction of a round shield on the long side and this solitary example was found in the South Necropolis. Most of the tombs are sarcophagi. In addition, there are monumental tombs of the temple type. These temple-tombs do not have any relief decoration but have only some simple profiles and have survived today in a poor state of preservation.

The Ceramic Surveys: The second main branch of surveys conducted at Pednelissos in the 2003 season concerned the ceramic surveys. Our survey team collected potshards from those parts of the town, which we thought would yield important material, and the identification and analysis of our finds began. Taking into consideration the previous archaeological and geophysical surveys, we aimed to study the potshards in two separate categories, those potsherds found in a public context and those found in a private context. In this campaign, only those potshards from areas that we understood to have had a public character, were systematically gathered. These areas were: the Apollo Sanctuary, the agora-like square by the monumental gate in the Lower City, and the portico-like construction that is entirely buried, to the south of the big temple that was detected by the geophysical surveys of 2002. These ceramic surveys revealed the fact that the apparently isolated position of Pednelissos, up in the mountains away from the Mediterranean trade routes, is deceptive; as numerous examples of imported wares were recovered from the city. In addition to East Sigillata, Syrian and Phoenician potshards, the survey also produced fragments of ceramic products from nearby towns such as Perge and Sagalassos In addition, some other fragments that may well be the product of a regional or local manufacture of an unknown origin, were also collected. A consequence of this survey is that the ceramic surveys verified the architectural surveys; that is, that public areas, from where these examples were gathered, had only fine wares, we did not find any examples in these areas of ordinary coarse wares. Moreover, the potshards gathered to date, verify the architectural data, as they do not date to before the second half of the 2nd century B.C. These results show the interesting nature of archaeology in the Pisidian cities and raise many questions that await answers.

 The Geophysical Surveys: The third branch of surveys conducted at Pednelissos concerned our geophysical surveys. These surveys extended over a period of about 10 days and, continuing to the south and southwest, we proceeded beyond the city walls. Our aim was to find out whether the city extended beyond the walls of the city or not. Here we mostly used the magnetic methods and received positive results. Other areas were not measured with meters but rather with the GPS. Due to this new technology, the results were more accurate and the team saved much time, covered a wider area than in the previous year. The area surveyed including almost the entire South Necropolis and as close to the cliff as was possible was surveyed. As it is not possible to walk with the instrument in hand on the edge of the steep cliffs, we could not go up the hill. The surveys in this area showed that the city did not extend much beyond the city walls. Some structures and other anomalies were detected but only near the fortifications. However, distant from the city, monumental tombs were detected. These tombs must have been situated along the ancient road. The radar method was used upon one tomb and checks were made. In one area, which appears to be a flat field, a regular square shaped tomb that is today entirely buried beneath the surface of the ground was detected. Geophysical surveys were also carried out at the Sanctuary of Apollo: surveys In the temenos area revealed the corner of a quadrangular structure in the southwest and small rectangular spots of unknown function were located and noted in front of this structure. A third area surveyed covered the road opened by the forestry workers in the 1970s and which divides the city into two. This road is 3-4 m wide and about 500-1000 m long. Especially in the area beside the fortifications and within the walls some buried walls were detected. These walls overlap with those walls recorded on the topographical map.

The surveys at Pednelissos conducted in 2003, were very useful, as were the earlier surveys, and providing much new information about the site. With the start of the ceramic surveys, a new light has been cast on the development of the city presenting us with new horizons and new information. The ceramic finds, mainly from the Roman period, as well as finds from the Hellenistic period, showed that the city, in its apparently isolated situation, in fact had close relations with all the cities in the Mediterranean basin. In addition to the early Roman finds, the finds from Late Antiquity showed that the city had intensive trade contacts at this time with the Eastern Mediterranean cities, such as those in Cyprus and Phoenicia.

Back Open as PDF Print Article