Home | Archaeology Magazine | More Digs | AIA
Archaeology's Interactive Dig
July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
The house with its lowest row of ashlars. The blocked door can be seen in the middle.
The water channel built of mortared rubble in the first century A.D.

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

Street Test Soundings: August 8-12, 2004

We continued the test soundings initiated last week by Femke Martens (KULeuven) to obtain insight into the urban planning concept and chronology of the residential quarter located east of the monumental center. A room of one of the rich houses built of large masonry stones had been excavated last week along a supposed north-south street. According to results of the 2002 geophysical survey, this street ran west of the housing unit and led toward the fountain-library complex. In order to trace this street and to gather information on the time of its layout and use, we expanded the trench 4 meters west. Less than half a meter below the modern surface, we could identify the remains of a former street surface. As with many streets at Sagalassos, the slabs of this traffic artery had been removed in late antiquity. Removal was possibly done to reuse the slabs for repairs elsewhere in the town after the early-sixth-century A.D. earthquake. Remarkably, it was not only the street slabs that were removed in this case, but also the water-supply channel that ran along the eastern edge of the street. This conduit, made of mortared rubble with a rectangular section (.5 meters deep, .35 meters wide), had been built against the house's exterior wall of masonry blocks. Since both the cover stones and most of the tiled floor of this channel had been removed, we could dig below the floor to establish a construction date. Using ceramic evidence, we can date this quarter's occupation to the first century A.D. onward. This date agrees with the building technique of the adjoining house's wall and with the date as established by earlier test soundings for the urban planning of this residential quarter.

We found several stretches of terra-cotta pipeline inserted into a former street level, one of which was still entirely intact. Other stretches were only partly preserved, and these seemed to have eroded down slope after the street was abandoned in late antiquity. Our excavation of the levels to which the water pipes belonged produced pottery of mixed date, going back as late as the sixth century A.D. These levels could represent a repair of the street level after the A.D. 500 earthquake. After extending the trench to the west, we could see an old door opening within the exposed west face of the masonry-blocks wall. The door had been closed off, maybe related to a raising of an older street level or to an altered function of the room of the house excavated last week east of this wall. These issues will be further explored during the last week of excavations.

Previous pageNext page

InteractiveDig is produced by ARCHAEOLOGY Magazine
© 2010 Archaeological Institute of America

Home | Archaeology Magazine | More Digs | AIA