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ANMED Issue: 2006-4
 
Excavations at Arykanda 2005
Cevdet BAYBURTLUOĞLU
 

The 2005 campaign at Arykanda started on the 3rd of August and was supported financially by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, by DÖSİM, as well as by Garanti Bank Inc. The state representative was D. Demirci. The team members were archaeologist İ. Bayburtluoğlu, Dr. A. T. Tek, Inst. Dr. architect E. Erder, MA, Dr. M. Tekinalp, research assistant A. Özcan, archaeologists H. Sancaktar and D. Ö. Yalçın and students S. Topçuoğlu and G. Bilen as well as photographer M. A. Döğenci. I would like to express my sincere thanks to the institutions for their financial support and the team members for their harmonious work.

 Before the campaign commenced, the information panel work that began in 2004 was completed and the signs were erected on site. The site is now easy to visit due to the NEW signposting (Fig. 1).

Landscaping and Repair Work:
As the section at the beginning of the visitors’ route was blocked for excavation purposes and it was necessary to facilitate a new route for visitors, the area between the Great Basilica and the Peristyle House, which was partially excavated in 2004, was covered and a route for visitors and vehicles was built to the west of the Great Basilica, facilitating access to the ruins in the north, northeast and west.

 The wall to the west of the Stadion, which had collapsed in 2004 due to the floods, was further damaged before the 2005 campaign started. Thus repair work was initiated before the campaign and it continued throughout the season. The collapsed wall was repaired and rebuilt (Fig. 2). In recent years, the monumental tomb  called the Fellows Tomb has been one of our foci for restoration and conservation work. The laboratory work for the reinforcement and conservation of the doorway had reached the point of implementation; thus, the first step was taken and chemicals were injected into the stones and the missing parts were completed. If the results are positive, then the remaining parts will be conserved in 2006 and worked so that it will be clearly understood that the restored parts are not original (Fig. 3).

Excavation Work:
The excavation work during the 2005 campaign was carried out in the Peristyle House to the south of the Great Basilica and at the Bathhouse VI further south.

1. Tomb Trench:
A trench of 2x2 m. was dug in order to erect an electric pole. However, a slab stone was found and when it was removed, a tomb approximately 45-50 cm. wide and 2 m. long, built from rubble was exposed. The skeleton belonged to a man, laid in an east-west direction and his hands, feet and ribs are missing. The grave was covered by three slabs, two of which are plain and the third is a reused architrave fragment bearing a decoration of egg-and-dart motifs possibly dating to the 3rd century AD. In this grave were found two skulls but one full burial whereas many skulls and bones were found outside the grave, which brings to mind two possibilities: We are of the opinion that this grave belongs to the Basilica; each time a new burial was to be placed here, the old bones were pushed aside, or, the corpses were simply buried hastily during an epidemic. No small finds were recovered from this grave that could help with its dating.

 2. Road Trench:
With the new visitors’ road coming into use, we were able to resume work on the two-phased alleyway connecting the lower quarters of the late period to the Basilica. In 1997, we had partially unearthed this alleyway, passing by the western wall of the Byzantine House. The wall supporting the modern road leading to the East Necropolis and built in 1997 was removed and it was understood that this stepped alleyway was paved with cobbles in its first, Roman, phase and turned towards the west from the north. The alleyway is stepped in the north-south direction but extends flat in the east-west direction. The cobblestone pavement in this section was partially damaged. In the second phase, i.e. during the Byzantine period, it was observed that the steps built with a loose mud mortar and rubble stone did not continue. A terrace wall of mud mortar and rubble was exposed in the north of the alleyway. The Byzantine steps were removed after documentation and relevé work had been completed.

Two noteworthy small finds were: a head of Emperor Gordian III, partially damaged, carved from a high quality fine-crystal white marble, which was recovered in front of the north wall (Fig. 4), and, a bronze instrument for some cosmetic or medical purpose.

3. Peristyle House:
The visitors’ route passing by Naltepesi and leading to Tomb Nr. 1 has been cancelled and a new route has been opened for use. Thus, the excavations initiated at the Peristyle House in 2004 continued in the south and western parts of the structure, which could not be unearthed last year due to the visitors’ route. The purpose of the excavations in this structure are to expose and display the urbanisation in the lower city, including the transportation system and the formation of the insulae; to find new examples of the professions within this area, as it includes both domestic and crafts areas. First the northwest and northeast postaments of the peristyle were uncovered. In the middle of the north side of the peristyle there is a 4x2 m. impluvium, which does not have a wall on the south and its floor is paved with quadrangular stones of various sizes. One of these flooring stones is a still functioning drain with six drain holes designed in the form of a six-petal şower. This drain, as well as two others identified in the courtyard are connected to the water canal directly beneath the courtyard. There is a chamber with three walls located in the middle of the north side of the atrium; between the eastern and western walls of this chamber and the eastern and western walls of the atrium itself, two chambers are thus formed. The chamber thus formed in the centre is further divided into two by a thin wall.

 On the back of the north wall of the atrium is a pipe leading upstairs. Parallel to this pipeline is a 91 cm. long lead pipe, thought to lead upstairs as well. The two pipes reach the floor and join another pipe extending in an east-west direction. The walls of the first room to the west of the peristyle courtyard are built from polygonal rough stones and mortar and were then, firstly plastered thickly with a coarse plaster and then with a fine plaster coat. Traces of frescoes with vegetal motifs suggest that the walls were decorated with frescoes. The wall surfaces were not cleaned in order not to cause damage to the frescoes until conservation work is completed. Apart from the south wall of the room, there is a doorway in each wall. Following the end of the work here, the doorways, except for the western one, were blocked with rubble. The door in the east wall of the room rises with one step and leads into the peristyle. The doorway in the west wall opens into a small room with mosaics. It is not possible to say where the doorway in the North wall opens to; however, this may be connected with the rooms on the lower terrace of the basilica. The floor of this small room is decorated with fine quality polychrome mosaics in blue, yellow, black and red. The wheel-of-fortune motif in the centre is surrounded with various geometric motifs, each different from the others, and meanders (Fig. 5). Before the doorway leading to the  courtyard there is an inscription reading “Perios, use this with happiness”. This is quite an uncommon name which may have belonged to the owner or to one of the residents of the house (Fig. 6). As can easily be seen on the mosaic floor, the house complex suffered greatly from a big fire, which might be the great fire of 430/440 AD that devastated Arykanda. No small finds were recovered in this room.

The second room with mosaics uncovered in 2005 is the one to the west of the large room. This second room with mosaics has a doorway in its east wall that leads into the big room. Its floor is paved with şoral and geometric mosaics, using red, white and black coloured tesserae, but is not very well preserved. The lower terrace, to the south of this room with mosaics, was probably used as storage area like the other rooms on the ground floor of the Peristyle House, that were unearthed in 2004. Among the noteworthy finds are a brazier grill (Fig. 7) and a torso of Apollo of a high quality white marble.

 Work was also carried out in the rooms to the north of the peristyle courtyard. These rooms all open onto the courtyard with a single doorway and they are interconnected with each other. These should have served as storage or as archive areas or were for the servants of the household. From the evidence provided by the few coins recovered, it is possible to claim that this house was abandoned towards the end of the 4th century AD and was then destroyed in a fire. When the peristyle courtyard, related rooms and the Basilica are considered together, it will be possible to attain more certain interpretations.

4. Bathhouse VI:
Excavations at Bathhouse VI at Arykanda began in 2004 and have been completed with the praefurnio adjoining the eastern wall of the apsidal shaped caldarium as well as the storage room (lutron) to the north of the caldarium. The structure has a typical Lycian bathhouse plan, like the Great Baths-Gymnasion, the Bathhouse on the Slope and the Bathhouse of the House with Inscription. It has a semi-circular caldarium with a view, and its location suggests that a survey was conducted before construction started, regarding the chimney smoke. The walls of the room to the north of the caldarium were built from irregular stones of various sizes and mortar. On the north, south and west walls there are traces of mortar and plaster. No doorway leading into this room has been found. It should be connected to the lutron, which is accessed from the frigidarium and connects to the tepidarium to the north. Holes for the relieving beams supporting the superstructure can be seen in the north and west walls.

The last part of work at Bathhouse VI during the 2005 campaign was at the praefurnium that adjoins the eastern wall of the caldarium. With this last room also exposed, the arch-shaped praefurnium of Bathhouse IV on the west wall was found. The floor of the praefurnium was plastered and circular. There is a doorway 1.30 m. w. in the eastern wall. The threshold of this doorway is a reused block bearing the inscribed words “HTRIOUA” and “LOUTOU”. Many pieces from the hypocaust were also recovered from the south of the room.

The small rooms adjoining the southern wall on the outside were cleaned to enable the completion of architectural drawings and these rooms should have also belonged to the bathhouse.

The coins that were uncovered in the 2005 season are close in their context to those uncovered in 2004 and are dated to between 350 and 420 AD.

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