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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
Examples of Iron Age ceramics

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

Ceramology: August 14-18, 2005

This campaign, part of the ceramological program consists of a detailed study of the pre-Roman pottery (mainly Iron Age and some Hellenistic), found during extensive survey campaigns on the territory of Sagalassos. It concerns the ceramological surveys of 2002, 2003, and 2004, more specifically on the sites of Aykirikça, Belören (Keraitai), Düver (Darsa?), Hisar, Kepez Kalesi, Kozluca, Seydiköy and Taskapi Kale. The aims of the study include a typo-chronological evaluation of the material as well as the determination of the different pottery fabrics on the territory of Sagalassos by means of a detailed, macroscopic description of (mainly) diagnostic sherds. This description considers the physical and decorative characteristics of the sherd with special attention to inclusions in the clay matrix.

In a next stage, the catalog will be compared to two archaeometrical analysis programs. The first program is supported by Patrick Degryse, and mainly involves clay provenancing, bulk analysis, and thin sectioning (carried out at the Centre for Geo- and Bio-Archaeology and Archaeological Image Processing that will merge with a new Center for Archaeological Sciences that will start on October 1 under the directorship of Marc Waelkens). The second program forms part of the "Anatolian Iron Age Ceramics Project" of Peter Grave and Lisa Kealhofer (http://aia.une.edu.au/), based on INAA (Instrumental Neutron Activation Analysis), representing an important opportunity to link the Sagalassos results to a wider understanding of Iron Age pottery within Asia Minor. Both programs sustain fabric identification in order to determine different pottery production groups.

Both aspects, typo-chronology and production technology, will instruct a socio-economic evaluation of the way pottery was made and used during the Iron Age in the territory of Sagalassos, and improve our understanding of the way this region in Anatolia was organized. The preliminary results indicate some form of site hierarchy, with the settlements of Seydiköy and Düver (Yarimada; most probably the ancient historian Livy's Darsa) possibly representing chiefdoms. Whereas the former, however, is restricted to the very well defended mansion of the ruler, the latter seems to represent a much larger proto-urban settlement with shrines, a large rock-cut tomb, and very strong Phrygian influences in its architecture. This functional identification is demonstrated from the wider variety of pottery fabrics found at both sites and the general higher quality of the products. A second preliminary conclusion sustains the importance of local/regional pottery production here forming the artisanal substrate for the pottery manufactory of Late Hellenistic to Early Byzantine Sagalassos.

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