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ANMED Issue: 2003-1
 
Surveys in and around Olympos in 2002
Ebru PARMAN
 

 Surveys at Olympos in 2001 and 2002 were done under the supervision of the Antalya Museum Directorate, by a team under the direction of Prof. Dr. Ebru Parman of Anadolu University’s Department of Art History, with financial support from the Research Fund of the University.

The cleaning, documentation and architectural inventory work that was initiated in 2000 at the ancient city of Olympos continued, over the following two years. The topographical work that had previously focused on the northeast sector of the city was completed in 2002, including the south sector as well. Three teams supported by topographers in the last campaign continued their documentation and work of draughtsmanship in the centrum; thus, the city plan has by now been to a great extent completed.

 In 2002 INTA Satellite Systems provided a satellite picture that facilitated the documentation of the city centre and other sites within Olympos’s territorium. Work done so far, plus the satellite picture, exposed the necessity to evaluate Olympos not only for itself, but also together with its large territorium, which we believe it influenced. For this purpose, in 2002 surveys were done also at Musa Dağı, Asar Tepe and Göktaş Fortress within the Olympos territorium. As a first step it was seen that these sites related to Olympos paralleled the architectural phases to be encountered in the city. It can be assumed that these settlements, generally located at high altitudes, were used for defensive purposes in the Middle Ages and that they were necessary to provide security for the harbour city of Olympos. Work to the northeast of the Akçay (Olympos Creek) that divides the site into two, was started in 2002 and it was observed that this sector of the city mainly contained the religious and secular complexes dating from the Middle Ages. The architectural craftsmanship, brick decoration and traces of frescoes, especially in “Basilica A”, together with the related chapels discovered in this sector, suggest that Olympos was an important Christian medieval centre.

Each of the five groups of buildings discovered to the west of this complex in 2002 consist of: a courtyard and multiple rooms, some of which are two and threestoried, and are likely to have had civic functions.

 Work in the south sector of the city was initiated with documentation of the South Necropolis in 2000 and 2001. In 2002 this sector, including the Necropolis, together with mainly Roman structures, was also marked on the topographic plan. Among the great architecture of the period in this sector are: the Theatre, baths and Harbour Basilica, which have retained their monumentality despite the damage caused by nature and mankind.

In the 2002 campaign the pier of the bridge, that can be seen in the middle of the Akçay Creek, that runs from Harbour Street, in the north sector of the city, was cleaned and it was seen that the bridge joining the north and south sectors of the city spanned the creek with two arches. Beside the southern pier of the bridge two statue pedestals were discovered, one was badly damaged rendering its inscription illegible, the other is dated to the Roman period from the inscription. The harbour quays and other structures found around the bridge pier in the south sector of the city have a curious layout. The quay wall that continues to the point where Akçay meets the sea, was originally built in the Hellenistic period, it is in places concealed under the alluvial silt. When the city was first founded it is highly likely that the ships were able to come up the creek and load and unload their cargoes at these harbour facilities.

In the 2002 campaign, 350 tombs in the north and south necropoleis were documented in the inventory, and the entire catalogue of existing tombs were marked on the map.

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