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ANMED Issue: 2005-3
 
Patara in 2004
Fahri IŞIK
 

Excavation and research work at Patara lasted for 70 days from July the 5th to September the 16th 2004. After the campaign, it was decided to continue with the restoration of Marcia’s Temple-Tomb and also the removal of the sand accumulated on and around the Lighthouse, as well the preparation of its architectural drawings and the work for its restitution.

I. Excavation Work
 The Main Street (Şevket Aktaş) The Main Street going north from the harbour terminates at the monumental South Gate. It provided access to a wide flat area, possibly the State Agora, which is surrounded by the Lycian Assembly Hall to the west, the Theatre to the south and the Baths of Vespasian to the northeast. The western arch, by the north end of the “Justinian Walls”, was uncovered last year, and the eastern arch was uncovered during this campaign. Although we had expected a triple-arched gate from its width, we were not surprised to find it was a double-arched gate. To the north of the separating wall joining the arches is another entranceway divided by two columns and facing east, opposite its passageways is an adjoining a Byzantine building wall. The trench began to be extended towards the east, in parallel with the South Gate trench, in the direction of the Baths of Vespasian. As the Main Street sinks into a swamp after a distance of 100 meters, the excavation was then switched to the Stoa extending along its western side in 2002; however, our hope of uncovering a shop in a good state of preservation was hindered because of extensive Byzantine constructions. The area in front of the Stoa was extended towards the south, following a border of a Byzantine wall uncovered to the west. The burning of marble in a lime kiln was considered responsible for the Byzantine destruction observed at various degrees everywhere. New inscriptions with historical content and a portrait of a Flavian Empress that survived as spolien re-used in a wall are the most important finds from the excavations in this area (Fig 1).

The Theatre (Hüseyin Alanyalı - Ferifltah Alanyalı -Joachim Ganzert)
 The Theatre of Patara has two original features and its parallel is found at the Theatre of Pompey in Rome: the Temple resting right upon the axis in the focus of the upper step; and secondly, the façade architecture of the stage building accentuated with niches, pilastres and columned projections as in a scenae frons. The excavation work at the theatre again focussed in uncovering the façade. When the middle level of the ground floor was reached, in the excavated eastern half, it was seen that the wall was decorated with a moulding partially enriched by tori and trochili; the presence of a doorway between the double-columned projections and the fact that this doorway is different from the other two on the eastern side and also that it has a “privileged” opening into a common square shared by the Lycian Assembly Hall, add to the peculiarities of this theatre that are not found in traditional theatre architecture. The recovery of the Ionic capital, which is thought to have fallen from the projection to the east of the doorway, facilitated its future restoration, along with the base and fluted column fragment recovered in situ at the western projection last year. An architectural team of 9 from Hannover, Germany, focused on the cavea and, following a fine cleaning; the photogrammetric drawings of the rows of seats that were prepared last year were one by one revised, using a more developed technique (Fig. 2).

 The excavations at the Bouleuterion continued in front of the façade facing east and in the cavea. This Bouleuterion is an important capital city assembly hall as it served not only for the Lycian League in 167 BC but for the Province of Lycia in 43 AD, and also possibly for the Lycia-Pamphylia Province in 74 AD. The excavations showed that the rows of seats, which had been removed down to the vault of the upper part, as was observed last year, and the area to the north of the Throne of the Lyciarchos in the middle, were untouched down to ground level. This delightful situation will pave the way for the rebuilding of the southern half of the cavea, which was sacrificed to the Wall of Justinian integrated with the structure on the south and east, with the original material embedded in this wall. Nine rows of seats have been uncovered in the north and it is difficult to predict how many more will be exposed before reaching ground level. This is because during this campaign it was understood that this structure is an unusual one with an unprecedented design. The fact that the stairway starting from the north then extends, turning to the west and halts at a vault and then continues further up, and that the doorway opening into the staircase from the ground was later blocked, are interpreted as belonging to the first construction and use of this structure in the High Hellenistic Period. Patara was the capital of the League, as known from the “head of the Lycian stock” expression employed by Livy. It is clear that when the city became the provincial capital in the Roman Period, the structure needed to be enlarged upwards and the entranceways were transferred to the vaulted rooms built adjoining the former entranceway. Now it is clear that the monumental northern gateway and the smaller western doorway inside, that were uncovered last year when ground level was reached, were necessitated during the enlargement to the structure in the Roman Period; the same point is also valid for the area partially preserved and complemented by the vaulting at both ends of the façade. The middle section, between the lateral entrance halls, has three windows as was understood this year, and this further reinforces the structural peculiarity of the Bouleuterion of Patara, as also the Theatre. These results could be attained only after drawings were completed of the piles of blocks and the blocks were removed to the nearby storage field. Drawings were made by the German team from Magdeburg in charge of the work of restoration. Inscriptions as well as a fragment of a face, with features dating to the reign of Antoninus Pius and possibly depicting Faustina, are amongst the notable finds (Fig. 3).

The Corinthian Temple (Eray Dökü - Sinan Genim)
The ongoing excavations at this Antonine Period Temple naturally aims at its restoration as this structure is of importance being the only temple of Patara which is preserved to the level of its roof and which has a monumental doorway. Listed amongst the “100 Most Endangered Sites” by the World Monuments Watch, this building is to be restored in collaboration with the TAÇ Foundation. However, the progress of work has been slow due to the situation of the structure. The Temple stands almost as a bastion within the medieval fortifications in the southeast corner; and the podium upon which it stands lies beneath the fortification in both the east and the west. Owing to its proximity to the swampy ancient Harbour, we were still unable to reach ground level at places independent of the fortification. As the permission asked for was late in being given in 2004, only that part of the fortification adjoining the western wall of the Temple and which rested upon the podium could be removed. The excavations inside a Byzantine room that had been built adjoining the western side of the Temple revealed fragments of sculpture and inscriptions, as well as architectural pieces belonging to the Temple and consequently further excavations and the removal of the Byzantine fortification are necessary before the restoration of the Temple can begin.

Excavations were initiated last year at Tepecik Acropolis in order to reinforce scientifically the intended publication of the small terra cotta finds that were unearthed in a small pit dug on the southeast edge of the peak and turned over to Antalya Museum by F. J. Tritsch and A. Dönmez in 1952. The work brought to light a late Classical Period cistern of high quality and the materials recovered from inside, with a few exceptions, have shown that the cistern was used during late 4th century and early 3rd century BC and it was then filled-in about middle of the 3rd century BC. There are very few examples of cisterns dating from early periods such as Archaic and 5th century BC Classical, but this does not alter the dating. The latest datable finds are two coins from the Late Hellenistic Lycian League and these finds are understood to be accidental. The filling from within the cistern containing many potshards was emptied this year. The cistern measures 4.65x2.50x3.00 meters and it is orientated on an east-west axis with its walls and floor were sealed with high quality mortar. The eastern wall is concave and distinguishes itself by a bench-like step close to the floor. The cistern is an important example for its period because of its good state of preservation with the exception of its superstructure. Excavations carried out in the adjacent area did not however its connection with any other structure.

 Among early finds are two baked clay figurines – a standing male and a sitting female - which are alike in regard to their coarse paste, hard fired technique and in their heights, at slightly over 6 cm. They date to the same period, at the latest to within the transition to the 1st millennium BC; this is a groundbreaking date not only for Lycia but also for western Anatolia and the Islands because, to date, these are the earliest finds from Anatolia dating to the period of the Aegean Migrations that began in the 12th century BC. Another baked clay find depicting a mountain peak with a votive stone on top and dating to the Late Classical Period, which is 9.5 cm tall, is unique and unparalleled to the best of the author’s knowledge. On a stele, resembling Athenian tombstones, are depicted a winged child, Eros, on the left and a dressed woman, perhaps Aphrodite, on the right. It is highly probable that this is an Athenian product because of the form of the stele and the style of the relief carving. These three finds from the cistern show that our hopes from the Tepecik Höyük excavation will be realised (fig. 5).

Daily Ware Pottery Workshops (Şükrü Özüdoğru)
 Local pottery and figurine production at Patara was identified at the start from a main-mould that was discovered on the surface at Tepecik however, the presence of production is further supported by the increasing number of workshops that have been accidentally identified. After the one that was found in the same area as the tombs on the east and north foot of the Tepecik Höyük, an area uncovered in 2000 in the assumption of a “brick tomb”, just to the east of the asphalt road revealed another workshop. It extends in an east-west direction on the foot of Günlük Hill and it was sad to find out that the front half of the kiln had been entirely destroyed during the course of road construction. When ground level was reached in front of the kiln area this year, a layer of tiles from the collapsed roof was found; a stone wall known beforehand borders the mouth of the kiln and its fore-area to the north and continues to the east; all these elements facilitated our reconstruction of the layout of this Late Roman workshop. As the excavation continued along the eastern wall, in order to reach the southern wall, another kiln was unexpectedly discovered. Differing from the first one, this kiln is orientated in a north-south direction and it is almost intact, with the exception of the round top of the brick vault that has been scraped by agricultural machinery ploughing. However, it has been uncovered halfway down, to the kiln support on the south. This area is likely to have been the potters’ quarter, hence its importance (Fig. 6).

The Tepecik Acropolis, which looks like a mound, is known have housed the earliest settlements of the city and this has been shown, not through its dominating height and location opening to the harbour but also from individual finds predating the Iron Age. A stone axe, several potshards from ca. 2000 BC and the remains of a fortification built in a fashion recalling “Hittite technique” provide evidence of the Bronze Age presence at Patar which was presented with offerings by Tudhaliya IV. With the support of the Troian Expedition, stratigraphic excavations were initiated on the mound for the first time this year. In a trench 2 meters wide and 20 meters long, dug in the south slope and reaching the foot of the mound step by step, only the Hellenistic Period settlement could be reached this year; however, as the bedrock has not as yet been reached, it is likely that earlier strata exist below. One find from the excavated houses is of as great significance as those from the cistern: a miniature steelyard of bronze, with the weight units inscribed in Roman numerals on its arm and a bronze steelyard weight in the form of a bust of Emperor Vespasian.

A harbour of dominating importance for the foundation of the city; the main port of Lycia throughout history; an unparalleled estuary of 2 km long tongue with a width of 100-200 meters, dividing the city into two, the east and the west parts. And, when watched from Kurflunlutepe, it is easy to infer that the small hill with pine trees at the point where harbour basin turns towards the mouth of the harbour, must have been of great importance for sailors as the terrain begins to rise there, the forest starts to get green and it is rocky. When we first visited it, there were two stone steps jutting out from the sand, towards the east end, resting on the rock; the only remain that were not be concealed underneath the sand were the three stone blocks, round like millstones, resting as if on top of each other, and as I calculated them to have a diameter of 1.60 meters, they could have been completed with an elevated round body only,”, reads the book on Patara published in 2000. This monument is located far from the Byzantine fortifications and, just like all the other monuments on the West Side, its materials must have been left largely untouched. It has the distinction of being the only surviving monumental Pharos of Antiquity in its original form which can be restored; as the only other example, at La Coruna on the Atlantic coast of Spain, has survived due to 17th century repair work and it has an entirely different and plain architecture, rising like a minaret directly from the rock, without either a podium or steps. Thus its importance kept the lighthouse excavation on the agenda all the time. As the dunes progressed, the lighthouse is today situated more than 500 meters inland and has lost its connection to the sea and the harbour. Reaching it through the dunes was a major handicap for the excavation.

Workers and students removed the unbearably hot sand covering the blocks of the monumental Lighthouse, with a tracked bulldozer with a pallet. The lighthouse’s stepped podium measures 20x20 meters at the base and its height today varies from 1 to 3 meters. The entire height of the debris reached 10 meters; however, the height of the lighthouse could have reached 20 meters in antiquity, with the round body rising and becoming narrower at three levels, like a ziggurat. The gap encircling the body and bounded by a shell wall on the outside must be for access, as in a minaret. The real function of the door-like opening on the west will be clarified when it is entirely exposed. According to its excavator, the author, this monumental Lighthouse was built in the Hellenistic tradition, based on it rising from a podium and from its monumental architecture, because it is not possible to think of the city without a lighthouse at a time when Patara stepped to the forefront in Lycia. The Roman example at La Coruna was possibly built during the reign of Emperor Trajan and this is why these two structures are so completely different from each other. According to an inscription that could be read among the debris, the Pataran Pharos was built by the Provincial Governor Marcus Sextius Priscus, who had also the Baths of Vespasian errected, in the third quarter of the 1st century AD.

II. Restoration Work:
The Stoa and South Gate of the Main Street (Şevket Aktaş - Sabahattin Küçük) Restoration work on the Main Street could finally be started year for the first time. The Stoa on the west side of the street had many bases in situ, only parts of three columns could erected as most of the columns were burnt in the lime kiln. On the east side, however, there are many columns of basalt; therefore, on the east side many columns can be completed while there are only two surviving bases as these were made of marble. On both sides, the columns that can be completed were aligned without fixing them. The entablature pieces were also assembled together along the west side of the street. At the South Gate, only the crumbling or flaking parts of the blocks were glued and repaired. It is planned that the missing bases on the east side and, if possible, the capitals will be replaced by new marble copies.

 This monument is located beyond the fortifications on the estuary edge of the Günlük slope. Apart from its temenos, its excavation was completed in the previous campaign by H. İşkan Işık and F. Gülşen. This monument is an important example of its type and its importance arises not only from the grandeur of its architecture which will fully emerge after its restoration is completed but also from the contents of its inscription, interpreting the structure in all its details. According to this inscription, it was built exactly like a Roman temple by the noble Marcia Aurelia Chryion (Iasonis) for “herself, for her father the Lyciarchos Alchimos the IIIrd, her brother the Lycian Archiphlax Dionysos (Iason) and her husband Alchimos who was the grandchild of Alchimos the IInd and for their god Apollo.” Detailed drawings and its restitution were completed under the supervision of F. Gülflen, and its restoration was initiated following that of the Main Street. The steps overlooking the estuary on the front were first reinforced and then the gigantic blocks in the south and east walls, each one of a weight of 5 tons, were extracted, repaired and then replaced. This process posed great difficulties and we realised the difficulties we are going to face when working with those blocks whose original situation is unknown, however, restoring such a monument for culture is worthwhile (Fig. 7).

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