This week, the team directed by Julian Richard and Mustafa Kiremitçi finished the work at the Macellum (food market) of Sagalassos. It carried out two excavations in order to reach the floor level. The ultimate aim was to get through the floor level of the latest building phase, in order to find evidence (mainly ceramics) belonging to the original construction, begun in A.D. 167. In the first test sounding in the northwest corner of the room, it eas just a few centimeters to the late floor level, composed of rubble stones out on the natural bedrock. It was impossible to go deeper there, so the team focused on the area along the stylobate carrying the columns of the entrance, which probably belongs to the second-century building phase. However, there again no older floor level was found. Instead, a thick and hard mortar substrate, probably belonging to the last phase was exposed. Although these test soundings did not provide us with second century material, we have been collecting important ceramic and faunal evidence supporting our identification of this space as a room, where a lot of material has been dumped during the final occupation of Sagalassos.
Now that the proper excavation work is finished, more contextual information should come from the other disciplines involved in the study of the material, such as the analysis of the pottery, glass, and metal, as well as the characterization of the animal bones. The soil samples sent to flotation should deliver more contextual information as well, as will the residue analysis carried out on the pottery.
Toward the end of the week and on the following Sunday, we carried out small excavations in the shop to reach the layer underlying the actual floor level, in order to recover ceramic evidence informing us about the different building phases of the Macellum. An excavation along the stylobate of the facade inside the room produced a white mortar layer, whereas another excavation in the room's northwestern corner still contained a rubble mixed set in similar white mortar. Neither excavation produced any finds below the mortar layer, where the natural bedrock was reached immediately.