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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
One of the very rare richly decorated building elements of the temple which can be associated with the Trajanic restoration
The first inscribed architrave of the front (the lines are separated by a slash): [To Apol]lo Klarios and to the divine emperor[s]/......[was built by P. Fla]vius Kollega using his own means and the denarii which he]/....[he paid for ]the 'skoutlosis' (= covering the walls with marble veneer] of the walls.
Another part of the entablature carrying the building inscription, where in the beginning of the second line the word Proklou, this is the genitive of the governor's name Proculus, is clearly legible.

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

Apollo Klarios Sanctuary: July 30-August 3, 2006

The 2006 campaign was supervised by Ine Jacobs of K. U. Leuven, and assisted by Ralf Vandam of K. U. Leuven and Tayfun Isiklar of Dokuz Eylul University of Izmir. The campaign consisted first of cleaning the entire church surface, which has for many centuries been covered by an extensive thorn bush, hiding the contours of the building. Its removal exposed the collapsed walls and colonnades. The excavation continued to the south and southwest of the trench started last year in the northeast transept of the church. Because of limited access for the mobile crane, the church needed to be excavated systematically from east to west, and the soil coming out of the trenches was used to create a platform in the center of the building, from which the crane could pull the blocks away. In this way, it became possible to remove all architectural fragments from the site to a stone platform nearby. The position of the blocks was carefully drawn and registered, in order to document the nature of the collapse and to facilitate a possible reconstruction of the church in the future. This is certainly doable, as most of the building blocks are still present on the site. They consist of numerous ashlars from the original temple cella, a large amount of column drums, and parts of the entablature.

The building inscription discussed in the introduction was written over several architraves, of which three blocks have been retrieved. They mention that at the time, the shrine also served the cult of the Imperial family, and a local family, who had received Roman citizenship under Vespasian, paid for it. As already mentioned in the introduction, the inscription also mentions a governor of Asia named Proculus, and as Sagalassos was then part of the Asian province, the structure's restoration, possibly after earthquake damage, could be dated to the governorship of that men, under Trajan, and more precisely to the year A.D. 103-104.

[image] The very plain cornices of the Trajanic temple and its false lion spouts

In between the collapsed material of the building, fragments of crustae, or marble wall veneer, and sham architecture--wall revetment consisting of fake architectural elements imitating real structural features--were found. Together with the numerous glass tesserae belonging to wall mosaics, they attest the rich decoration of the church. A large amount of elements belonging to the chancel were retrieved. During the removal of a concentration of architectural fragments, a glimpse of a brick structure, possibly the remains of an altar, became visible. However, because of the risk of it being damaged by other large blocks in the collapse material behind it, which still has to be removed, it has been covered again. The excavation also uncovered an Ionic capital, which is much larger than that found during last years' excavation, and it has been re-erected onto one of the columns. Its origin and function in the church is still unclear.

Because of various logistical problems, the excavation has been forced to stay about 1 meter above the mid- Byzantine floor level of the church. Next week, more blocks of the southern wall of the church and the excavation sectors will be removed, allowing for the exposure of this floor and the structures on it.

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