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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
Karel Paul, head of the recording team, and topographers Inge Nackaerts and Jelena Vanopdenbosch in the Potters' Quarter. The man on the left is geophysicist Branko Music.

Frans Depuydt completes the city map by using a plane table approach.
Architecture students (Istanbul Technical University) record slabs of the Lower Agora's pavement.

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

Architectural and Cartographic Recording: July 10-14, 2005

The architects' team composed of Belgian topographers and Turkish architects are a kind of mobile group, making plans and elevations as the excavations go on, and recording all ashlars or decorated building elements before their removal. At the moment, our recording team includes two nationalities and two different disciplines: two topographers, Inge Nackaerts and Jelena Vanopdenbosch (De Nayer Institute, Sint-Katelijne Waver, Belgium) and Turkish students in architecture and conservation, Ugur Gürsoy (METU Ankara, Turkey), Ayça Taylan, Nazll Ödevci, Nazll Tümerdem, Erdem Üngür (all Istanbul Technical University), and engineer Piraye Hacigüzeller (METU, Ankara; EMA, KULeuven. Belgian architect and master in conservation (KULeuven) Karel Paul direct the team. During the first week, work focused on establishing the grids for the archaeologists and recording stones present at the surface before their removal by crane to stone platforms, where they are registered and numbered.

As the campaign continues, and more structures are exposed, the focus of the documentation team will move towards drawing plans and elevations of these structures. These plans are made based on measurements taken by topographers using a theodolite (a telescope-like instrument that can measure horizontal and vertical angles and distances) and plotted at the right scales. For plans we use a 1/50 scale and for the elevations one of 1/20. The fact that all drawings are based on such measurements not only avoids the accumulation of errors, as is usual by hand measuring, but also makes it possible for us to connect drawings produced during different campaigns.

Besides the above-mentioned teams of topographers and architects, another cartographic team, composed of Frans Depuydt and his wife Anna Goyens are completing the city plan of Sagalassos at a very detailed scale of 1/500. After 16 field campaigns they are about to finish the map of the 85-hectare archaeological site. The aim of this mapping is fourfold:

  • To produce a scaled representation of all features visible at the surface before the excavations take place. Not only the height above sea level (from 1,250 m in the southwest to 1,635 m in the northeast, shown by level curves every meter), allowing a 3D representation, but all visible features are measured with a precision in a range of several centimetres. These features include rocks, stones, walls, channels, roads, paths, vegetation, rivers, and wells, et cetera.

  • To offer a useful instrument by which various disciplines--archaeology, geology, morphology, vegetation, and geophysics--can present their data and interpretations.

  • To provide topographical documentation based on which the archaeologists will be able to plan their excavations in a more rational way.

  • To give the topographical documentation that is essential for the registration of all results, which are published after the research.

The topographical and cartographical registration is based on a network of more than 80 geodetic points, measured during the 16 previous years by using a GPS, a total station, and a theodolite. The detailed topographical registration (completed by a Sokkia Mini AR), allows checking data in the field. All this work will culminate in a detailed colored map of Sagalassos (scale 1:1000, 150 by 130 cm).

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