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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
Photos courtesy Sagalassos Archaeological Research Project. Click on images to enlarge.
by Marc Waelkens

Odeion: Aims 2006

The Odeion or concert building of Sagalassos is situated on a terrace to the north of the Lower Agora, partly built into the slope below the Upper Agora. The construction consisted of a covered semicircular auditorium with a radius of 24m, with a stage building preceding it to the south. Part of the Odeion's back wall stands to its full height, preserving the square beam holes for its roof structure, but showing several repairs. The auditorium may have seated up to 2,000 spectators. The Odeion could have been entered from the west, where a row of steps leading down to the orchestra is still visible near the point where it abuts the Hadrianic Nymphaeum, as well as from the east, where an arched entrance hall at a lower level was excavated last year.

Excavation will continue in the eastern part of the Odeion, with an initial focus on the adjacent parts of the entrance hall that have already been cleared. Next, there is another room just north of the excavated space, where a step of a staircase was found, and where there may be an exit to the area east of the Odeion. The fact that the top of a sidewall emerges above the current surface suggests an excellent preservation of the structural evidence here. In addition, the excavations in the area of the stage need to be continued in the western direction toward the edge of the ancient caravan road to Isparta. In the northern direction the eastern part of the orchestra and of the cavea should be cleared, a project which will probably exceed the time span of one campaign. In the southern direction a careful analysis of the already excavated zone will be required to reconstruct the layout of the stage building, as due to the presence of a road only a small part of this stage can be dug.

As the building's state of preservation is much better than expected, the excavation of all parts of the Odeion will take more time than originally planned. We will probably need three campaigns to clear the whole eastern part. After this we will gradually proceed in the western direction. However, the position of the road on top of the largest part of the stage building prevents the excavation of the entire concert hall, at least for now.

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