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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
The Hadrianic nymphaeum seen from the southeast towards the end of the week
The akroterion with the triton and the palmette from the left side wing

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

Hadrianic Nymphaeum: July 25-29, 2004

We continued to remove the collapsed building elements of the middle to late Hadrianic nymphaeum with our Lower Agora archaeological crew, architects, and crane team. In the mean time, we raised hundreds of building elements to a new stone platform after carefully recording their findspots. One of the nicest architectural elements we found this week was an akroterion (corner decoration) that most probably come from the building's left side wing. On the front side it represents a Triton blowing a shell, and on the right side it shows a nice palmette. Similar corner decorations from the right wing were uncovered last year. Toward the end of the week we exposed most of the stones above the top level of the drawing basin, as well as most of the steps leading to it. As a result, the lower part of the complex is gradually becoming visible and is beginning to dominate the view from the south side of the Lower Agora and the colonnaded street leading to it. All reliefs of the nymphaeum's lower wall forming the back of the drawing basin have now been exposed and temporarily protected with wooden boxes.

We also found many new sculptural fragments. The largest belonged to the seated statue of Apollo Klarios, which must have occupied the central niche of the nymphaeum (see Hadrianic Nymphaeum, July 18-22, and Find of the Week, July 18-22). Among the fragments were the colossal head of the god (more than 0.60 m high) and the upper part of his lyre. For an unknown reason, most of the steps around the east side wing of the structure had been removed in the past. A sounding in their foundation layer produced pottery, which is dated to the middle Hadrianic period by the rest of the monument. It was in this area that we discovered the knee of an over life-sized male statue, as well as the front side of a beautiful female head that possibly belongs to an Aphrodite statue. For all sculpture finds, see Sculpture Studies.

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