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ANMED Issue: 2004-2
 
The Work Carried Out by the Antalya Museum in 2003
Metin PEHLİVANER
 

Sounding Excavation Conducted in Lot 15 of Block 148 in Kaleiçi (Azize Yener, Nilüfer Karakaş, Nuray Malkoç)
 When the owner of lot 15 of the block 148 in Kaleiçi, Antalya applied for construction permission, the Antalya Museum Directorate made a sounding excavation from the 13th to the 21st of November and from the 1s' to the 4th of December 2003. The excavation commenced in the northwest part of the lot where construction was intended. In a trench of 1.50 by 2.00 m, at 30 cm below the surface, a stone pavement of rectangular shape was reached. On three sides of this pavement the trench was excavated deeper and it was understood that this pavement belonged to a podium-like structure, 1.38 m in height, built from travertine blocks of various sizes. The two corners exposed belong to the southwest side, 2.60 m in length, and the other two sides extended further to northeast, but were cut off from further investigation at 2.49 and 3.33 m by the encircling wall of the lot. This podium was built of two rows of blocks put together without any binding substance. The base stones are 21.5 cm wider at the bottom and narrow with an inclined profile. The bossed blocks over the base have two frames bordering the boss. No trace of any superstructure was found.

 Based on the speculation that this podium could be a pier from a monumental entrance, a further sounding trench was opened to the southeast, on the same axis. At a depth of 90 cm below the surface, at a distance of 5.19 m from the northeast structure, a base stone was found in situ, other pieces belonging to this structure, are understood to have been taken away at some later date. The 38 cm high platform upon which the pieces were placed must have brought these two structures to the same level. At the western corner of this platform, just 25 cm below, firstly a layer of rubble stones was exposed and then a pit beneath it was uncovered. As this pit could have been a water well, made in later times and digging there could pose structural dangers, further excavation work in this area ended.

 In order to test the above stated hypothesis, given the similarity of the architecture in both sounding trenches and their relative positions, the section between the two trenches was also excavated. In this section, beneath irregular wall stones, at a distance of 130 to 140 cm below the surface, a layer of fire damage was observed and numerous finds slag, potshards and animal bones were made. A flooring built with lime mortar was found beneath the burnt level, and one half and one intact baked clay plaque, that measured 29 by 29 cm, were found in situ in this flooring. A step 90 cm wide and 15 cm high, which could be a threshold, was found on the same flooring. In the section between the two structures and the road, a part of a stone-wall dating to the Ottoman period was unearthed 10 cm below the surface. In this area numerous fragments of glass/glaze materials were found, alongside metal and baked clay pieces, most of which are dated to between the 14th and the 20th century. Baked clay, metal, glass, stone and bone fragments were recovered from the earth filling around the architectural remains, and samples of plaster, slag, etc were taken to the museum laboratory for analysis and the necessary work and analysis was carried out on the samples.

 The finds of fired clay include many fragments, only a few of which can be joined together. The following are noteworthy for their help in dating: bottom and body fragments of 6th century unguentaria (3 have stamps); Oriental sigillatae; fragments of Cyprus red slip bowls (roulette decorated); handles, rims and bottom fragments of domestic ware, such as pans, pots and amphorae datable to the period from the 7th through to the 12th centuries; a bowl and stand fragments belonging to oil lamps with high stands that are dated to the second half of the 12th century; a fragment from a Seljuk bowl decorated in black underglaze (13th century); fragments of imitation celadon plates (14th century); fragments of jugs, ewers, pots, bowls and plates decorated with a single colored glaze (12th to 15th century); fragments of bowls decorated with slip, staining, painted, faux-marble, sgraffitto, and incision techniques (12th to 15th century); fragments of Miletus type ceramics (second half of the 14th century to the first half of the 15th century), blue-white potshards (16th century) of Iznik manufacture; cup fragments of Kütahya manufacture (Wh century); fragments from Dimetoka plates of the 19th century and European porcelain of the 2ffh century; tobacco pipe bowls (19th century) and finds of fragments of fired clay tripod supports for use in firing pottery in kilns.

The slag found in the earth filling belonged to a kiln's waste; dark balls resembling natural glass are the waste from a kiln producing glass or glaze for ceramics etc. No kilns or pottery workshops have been recovered to date in Kaleiçi, Antalya; however, the finds of kiln furniture, of tripod stands and the fired clay supports used in kilns that were recovered from the excavation clearly prove the existence of pottery production within Kaleiçi; yet, these finds of kiln furniture and glass\glaze material do not help us in the matter of dating.

Amongst the finds of metal, two sickles (one half missing and the other intact), two keys, two loops-rings (not of a size for the finger), one stick, nails of various sizes, the rim fragment of a bronze bowl, and a applique plaque can be mentioned. 3 bronze coins, which were found could not be read, due to their poor condition.

In addition, many animal bones were found in the earth filling, 14 knucklebones used for games were also recovered. A bone cylinder and an archer's thimble are amongst the finest objects recovered. The finds of fragmentary glass objects including: handle, bottom and rim pieces are so small that it has been impossible to determine the intact forms from which they came. Those pieces produced by a free blowing technique with thin walls have rims thickened by exposing it to flames. The surfaces of all these pieces have turned matt and iridescent. Based on comparisons made, two bases, one of which is hollow, and also a tube-like piece are believed to have once formed parts of a goblet and oil lamps dating from the Byzantine Period. Among the few stone finds were two columns of limestone and marble, a plate, a bowl, a possible altar table, a few architectural elements, and a spindle whorl of a gray stone, which must date to the Late Roman -Byzantine Period.

As the area examined has been heavily disturbed until the present day, any evidence concerning the function of the architecture has been lost, and so it was difficult to reach any conclusive results in this regard. However, based on the dating of the earliest finds to the 5th- 6th centuries, it is plausible to propose that these architectural structures may be a pier or a podium that can be related to a monumental entrance.

Excavation Work at Cökdere Village (Mustafa Demirel, Nuray Malkoç, Nilüfer Karakaş, Ali Koç)
 A pithos that was accidentally exposed during the digging of pits for the erection of electricity posts in the cemetery area (Yıkık Area) of Gökdere Village in the Yurtpmar District of Antalya, was reported to the Antalya Museum Directorate. The Directorate carried out a 3-day excavation from the 5th to the 7th of July 2003. The southern sides of two pithoi were unearthed standing upright. The mouths were 40 cm. below the surface of the ground with their flat bottoms 130 cm. below and they were placed so that they touched each other in the middle. These pithoi are brown burnished on the outside and are of a pinkish buff color with thick walls, biconic bodies, thick rims, short necks, with three thick handles, flat bottoms slightly depressed inward, and each vessel has only one handle in good condition. The handles were applied to the vessels, each handle being an equal distance from the other and there are five fingerprints where the handles join the body.

Other than coarse potshards both in the pithoi and in the filling of the trench, no other finds were recovered. The fragments recovered and the forms of the pithoi lead us to date them to the Late Roman Period. Although their function as either burial pithoi or as storage pithoi is today unclear, we are of the opinion that these vessels were used for storage purposes.

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