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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
The northeast corner of the Lower Agora seen from the north

The cistern after its excavation and conservation

Photos courtesy Sagalassos Archaeological Research Project. Click on images to enlarge.
by Marc Waelkens

Lower Agora: August 15-19, 2004

This week, the Lower Agora team worked in the southeast area of the square, removing more earthquake destruction debris originating from the west facade of the bathhouse. This activity, above the second-century A.D. street running along the Bath's west facade behind the shops of the square's East Portico, was carried out whenever crane operations prevented work on the Hadrianic Nymphaeum. More investigations will be carried out here during the next season. During the 2003 campaign, we exposed two sixth-century A.D. rooms housing a kind of police station watching over the approaches to the square in the Lower Agora's northeast corner (Field Notes 2003, Lower Agora - North, August 3-9). This "police station" was provided with a cistern (room 5), located at a lower level and originally part of the early Byzantine occupation of the East Portico's shops. Last year, the precarious state of this cistern's vault prevented a complete excavation of the room. We removed some of the debris in front and even behind the partially collapsed back wall of room 5 at the beginning of this year's season to allow conservation of the walls and vault (see Lower Agora, July 4-8). Now that this work was almost completed by Paola Pesaresi's conservation team, we were able to remove some remains of the floor deposit inside the cistern, as well as earthquake debris composed of brick, tuff blocks, and limestone rubble above it. As last year, the destruction layer produced many sixth- and seventh-century A.D. potsherds, pieces of glass, and animal bones. On August 19, we closed off the excavation area and made preparations to protect the Lower Agora against the fierce winters at Sagalassos. On the same day, the team was visited by Kerim Altug (Istanbul University), who had worked there for six years together with archaeologist B. Vandaele as a trench supervisor.

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