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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
The area west of Tepe Düzen that is completely transformed by mass movements
Terraces on the site of Tepe Düzen
The geomorphological-archaeological team at the rock of "Adam atacagi kaya" (the place where man was thrown down), a detached limestone black with traces of occupation on top, near Sarikaya

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

Geomorphological Survey: August 7-11, 2005

This week the "secret weapon" of the geomorphologists (Véronique De Laet, KULeuven), assisted by members of the archaeological survey team, did a first reconnaissance survey in the vicinity of Sagalassos (Zencirlik Tepe) and Basköy (Sarikaya). On Tuesday the Zencirlik Tepe (1666 m) and the adjoining plateau of Tepe Düzen (1400 m) were visited to supplement the geomorphological map of the area to the west of Sagalassos. The latter is the site of the Archaic to Post-Classical predecessor of Sagalassos, the former the location of its fortified acropolis (see Suburban survey, July 17-August 4, 2005). Mass movements replaced part of the mountaintop of the Zencirlik Tepe. Moreover, the surface of this mountain is entirely corroded by karst phenomena.

At Tepe Düzen agricultural field terraces were inspected. Field terraces transform the original slope into stepped terraces composed of stonewalls separated by a more level surface, the field. The main aim of this study is to find new arguments to conclude that during the Imperial period the Sagalassians already constructed field terraces with stonewalls for agricultural purposes. Our starting point is that terrace construction occurred in all periods. Even today, new terraces are constructed or smaller terraces are enlarged to form one field. For this study, the area of Tepe Düzen was chosen because of the very limited human interventions on the plateau during the last decades. During past seasons, carbon dating already confirmed the presence of late Imperial terraces east of Sagalassos. Another reconnaissance survey was carried out to confront high-resolution satellite images of this area with field measurements and photographs to investigate the possibilities of automatic feature extraction.

On Wednesday and Thursday a geomorphological field survey was conducted in the area of Sarikaya to map big limestone blocks originating from giant mass movements and to interpret high and medium resolution satellite images of this area. Also on Thursday new and already known travertine profiles in the valley of Basköy were studied. Whereas the origin of some of these profiles could be traced back to the early Holocene, travertine formation in this area seems to have stopped in late antiquity.

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