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ANMED Issue: 2005-3
 
Archaeological Research in and Around Sagalassos in 2004
Marc WAELKENS
 

Urban excavations
 In 2004 the excavations focused on the following areas:
The Hadrianic nymphaeum on the north side of the Lower Agora The excavation of a late Hadrianic nymphaeum that was erected on a terrace to the north of and above the Upper Agora, which was initiated during the campaign of 2003 was completed in 2004. The fountain was separated from the Trajanic nymphaeum at the agora level by the main east-west street of the city, which in this area formed a kind of esplanade, nearly 10 m wide. The fountain itself stood on a higher platform, accessible by means of 8 steps and was 17.20 m wide. Like its prototypes at Ephesus (the fountain of C. Laecanius Bassus, the nymphaeum of Trajan) it is U-shaped with two projecting side wings (W. 2.35 m; projection: 2.80 m), surrounding a water basin of 12 m by 2.75 m (depth: 0.90 m). The whole arrangement is also very similar to that of the contemporary nymphaeum at Perge. On all three sides, the monument has a 1.40 m high socle with slightly projecting pilasters (six in the central part). On the front and sides of the projecting side wings, they are decorated with Nymphs standing on sea creatures, flanking a reclining river god on the front side; in the central  part they are decorated with the representations of six of the nine Muses (Ourania, Terpsichore, Kalliope, Klio, Melpomene, Erato), and thus referring to Apollo (Fig. 1). Above the socle an aediculated facade, two stories high, rose up. In the side wings it probably was composed of a single aedicula for each floor, whereas in the receding central part, there were on each floor, apparently two projecting aediculae preceding a rounded niche, flanking three large rectangular niches in the back wall. Corinthian columns carried a richly decorated entablature. In the past, the study of the architectural decoration had already suggested a date during the second half of Hadrian’s reign as well as the activity of an architect or of stone carvers imported from Pamphylia. The side wings seem to have been decorated with akroteria decorated with shell-blowing Tritons. During the past two years, dozens of statues were recovered from the basin. The three central niches in the upper floor seem to have housed three bronze statues of which the pedestals were recovered. In the middle stood a large gilded bronze statue of Hadrian, according to the Imperial titles most probably dated to the years 129-132 AD. It was flanked on either side by two bronze statues representing Ti. Claudius Peison, the first Roman ‘knight’ (eques) of Sagalassos, who through his heirs had financed the construction of the nymphaeum following the stipulations of his will. The same man is also known to have commissioned three monuments dedicated to Claudius and Nero, and an (equestrian) statue representing Vespasian. He was also the first agonothetès for life of the Clareian games at Sagalassos. The two side niches of the upper storey apparently housed marble statues of the ‘heirs’, of which only one, representing a women and very much similar to the Plancia Magna statue from Perge, was recovered. The niches on the ground floor contained marble statues of the Olympian gods. The central niche contained a huge, nearly 4 m tall statue of Apollo Clarios (Fig. 2). To his left stood another slightly over life size Apollo and a Dionysus, and to his right a satyr and a Poseidon. The aediculae of the lateral wings contained a.o. a Herakles and two Aphrodite’s, one of which was a later addition.

All the other statues belonged to the original statuary display of the monument. Among the statue finds, there was also a colossal head of Demeter, belonging to a sculpture that was even larger than that of Apollo Clarios. However, it cannot be excluded that originally this statue belonged to the Odeon located immediately behind the fountain.

The Roman Baths
 The excavations of the northern section of the Roman Baths continued. In 2003, the western and eastern extremity of what then appeared to have been respectively an apodyterium (undressing room) with benches along the walls and a frigidarium with a central pool were exposed. The 2004 campaign showed that they formed a single room, originally 30.40x10.20m, made from solid brick curtain walls between ashlar piers and belonging to the Antonine phase (Marcus Aurelius) of this structure. Three rectangular recesses of which the eastern ones served as passageways then intersected the long walls. The eastern extremity of each wall had a semi-circular niche, whereas the small east wall was slightly curved, exactly following the pattern of the western and eastern edge of the large pool, which occupied most of the eastern half of the room. Statue groups representing Aphrodite of both the Capitoline and Cnidian types as well as putti carrying an amphora, all once arranged around the pool, confirm the Antonine date of the whole arrangement. During the later 4th century AD this whole room was refurbished with new wall veneer and with a beautiful opus sectile floor in the central and western part of the area. Near the beginning of the 5th century, the western extremity of the room was subdivided into a heated corridor in the south leading to the Salon of the Emperor that was now turned into a caldarium, while the northern part received benches along its three walls identifying it as an apodyterium. During this same transformation, four of the six rectangular niches along the long walls were fitted with individual bathtubs (Fig. 3). All of this involved tons of reused marble veneering slabs, sourced from abandoned structures elsewhere in the city. Some that are covered with poetic texts may have come from the dismantled gymnasium, whereas others representing Egyptianising scenes that most probably originate from a shrine for the Egyptian gods that was situated somewhere in the city.

The large urban mansion
 The excavations of a large urban mansion in the central part of the city also continued. After the 2004 campaign, 44 rooms arranged over three successive terraces/floors had been exposed (Fig. 4). A careful study of the building technology identified six major building phases between the 2nd and the late 6th/early 7th century AD. The major arrangement of the dwelling in its current form, when it was transformed into an urban palace, contained two arcaded courtyards, a private nymphaeum, a private bath, a large dining room on the ground level as well as a reception area with private entrance on the top floor, composed of a vestibule and a waiting lounge with nice geometric mosaics, preceding a large audience hall and two adjacent rooms, that could be dated to the 4th century AD. Then, the house clearly was the mansion of a family of the proteuontes, the provincial aristocracy which in Late Antiquity ruled the cities from their mansions, where they imitated the Imperial lifestyle. After an earthquake around AD 500, the mansion was still repaired in a monumental way, but before the end of the 6th century AD, possibly as the result of the plague of AD 541-42 that also wiped out large parts of the aristocracy or made them bankrupt, the complex was subdivided into at least three housing units. Whereas the family occupying the upper floor still maintained a well-to-do lifestyle, be it less opulent than Res. 3 / Fig. 3 before, the ground level of the house gradually became ‘ruralised’. One of the courtyards was first turned into a storage facility and eventually became a stable for cattle.

This same phenomenon could also be witnessed in the Upper Agora, where in the northeast corner an early Imperial public building with geometric floor mosaics was gradually subdivided into commercial units before becoming a public dumping area in the 7th century AD. Similar developments, whereby from the later 5th century AD onward, public structures were encroached upon for private activities of an artisan or commercial nature, before eventually being abandoned or even turned into public dumping areas has now been documented throughout the city. There are increasing indications that when the final earthquake leveled the city in the course of the 7th century AD, large sections of the town, which by then had acquired a predominantly agricultural character, had already been abandoned. The Study of the Urban Framework Intensive surveys and geophysical research completed the map of the city. Test soundings in the eastern domestic area confirmed the date of the expansion of the dwelling quarters in that direction in the course of the 1st century AD. Another sounding in the Shrine for Hadrian and Antoninus Pius confirmed two encroachment phases in the 5th and 6th centuries AD, followed by a new occupation, possibly of a military nature, in the 10th/11th centuries AD. A partial excavation of a large public building immediately east of the theatre, identified by the 2003 geophysical campaign and tentatively identified as a gymnasium, showed that this building which had been erected in the (early) 2nd century AD, had been systematically dismantled as far as the level of its foundations during the 4th century, most probably because it was a symbol of the old pagan culture. In the central part of the Potters’ Quarter, the 2004 geophysical survey identified a dense occupation with crowded workshops and at least a further 50 kilns or furnaces. One of these workshops, comprising 8 kilns, dated to the 5th or early 6th centuries AD, was excavated. It proved to have specialized in the production of figurines, lamps and flasks. During the second half of the 6th century, the ceramic kilns were transformed into lime burning units and were abandoned before the end of the century.

The Suburban and Territorial Surveys
The surveys in the territory of Sagalassos mainly focused on the identification of a number of Early Iron Age sites, later incorporated into the territory of Sagalassos and in documenting the regional pottery types from the late Archaic to the early Hellenistic period. On the other hand, intensive surveys  within a walking area of 2 hours confirmed the occupation picture already established in previous years, whereby during the Imperial period, this area was occupied by semi-residential villas, forming clusters with mausolea for their inhabitants and with (grape and) olive pressing units. Some of these villas may have continued in use into Late Antiquity, although no new construction seems to have taken place then. Soil samples from the terraces of this area containing traces of metal pollution and of increased animal manure, as well as the analysis of faunal remains, revealing heavy metal pollution, suggest that in Late Antiquity farming around the city became more diversified and more intensive again, implying the use of cattle near the city proper, as well as animal herding in its immediate vicinity. Most probably this was the result of the growing instability in the countryside.

The Anastylosis Projects
Both anastylosis projects also continued. The Northwest Heroon has now been rebuilt up to two thirds of its original height (Fig. 5). While all columns of the Antonine Nymphaeum on the north side of the Upper Agora were also completed or repaired, so that part of the aediculated facade of the building could be re-erected.

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