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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
View from RB 2 toward RB 1
RB 1 towards the beginning of the third week
The hypocaust piers of RB 1
The floor of the southern part of RB 1 toward the end of the fourth week
The south facade of the Roman Baths
View of the profile between the southernmost piers of the southern six-piered hall in frigidarium I

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

Roman Baths: July 18-August 2, 2007

Roman Baths 1

The Roman Baths 1 (RB1) excavation proceeds smoothly under the guidance of site supervisor Marie Lefere (K.U. Leuven) and her assistants Aude Goovaerts (K.U. Leuven) and Hasan Uzunoglu (Mimar Sinan U., Istanbul).

During the third week of the campaign, RB1 continued excavations in the Caldarium 3 (chronologically caldarium 2: see Introduction, 2007) area of the baths, and focused on reaching the floor of the hypocaust and then clearing out the southern facade of the Roman Baths exterior wall. The hypocaust floor still had pillars, which were better preserved as one moved north inside the caldarium. Therefore the excavation shifted to clearing the exterior wall while the conservation team took preliminary steps in the hypocaust. Both interior and exterior facades of the south wall of the Roman Baths were cleared away, and various ashlar blocks that were not in situ were removed.

The RB1 team proceeded east, along the south wall, exposing as much as logistically possible. The team then focused its efforts on the tepidarium 2 area (see Introduction, 2007), just to the east of caldarium 3(2) that was not excavated during the 2006 campaign first two weeks of 2007 as it was used as a crane platform. The team also removed the protective brick wall surrounding the platform so that both architects along with the archeologists could get a better profile information and make better drawings that will help understand the direction of the collapse of this part of the Baths.

After the discovery the Hadrian statue parts by the RB2 team--an amazing success--the RB1 team started to excavate the southern part of the tepidarium, again accomplishing both tasks of exposing exterior and interior facades of the southern wall, thus fixing the border of the complex in that direction.

In all, RB1 excavated 15 sectors during these weeks, to varying depths, from one meter to three meters, as logistics and the architecture itself would allow. The finds, along with statue parts do include glass, metal, a stone basin, ceramics, crustae and architectural fragments including another fragment of a verde antico column like the ones that were unearthed last year. In addition, rosso antico, and verde antico crustae are found, leading us to believe that tepidarium itself might have been beautifully decorated inside.

Roman Baths 2

During the third week, the Roman Baths team (RB 2), led by Christine Beckers (K.U. Leuven), Willem Hantson (K.U. Leuven) and Mustafa Kiremitci (Eylül Universitesi, Izmir) continued the excavations in the southeastern part of the Roman Baths (frigidarium I). The main aim of the excavations in this part of the building was to understand the collapse of the baths by examining the profile between the southwest and southeast pier of the six-piered hall. In six sectors corresponding with the area just north of the south facade (see Roman Baths, July 8-20), the team started removing the third layer, the beginning of the actual collapse. A first examination of the profile showed that the parts along the walls contained more mortar, which gradually fell from the walls, whereas the debris in the central part was dominated by brick, tile and stone once forming the concrete vault and its mortar and brick facing.


East of the southwest pillar, just north of the southern wall, this means in the southwest corner of the six-piered hall, the team discovered elements of a monumental marble statue. There was no doubt about the identity of the emperor, which represents a young Hadrian. We knew already from ceramics found in the foundations that the construction of the Roman Baths started under Hadrian, but this is certainly not the main reason why he was represented in colossal size here. Under Hadrian, Sagalassos became the neokoros city of Pisidia, the region's center of the officially recognized Imperial cult. This led to the construction of many impressive monuments, much too large and much too numerous for a city with certainly less than 5,000 urban dwellers. Hadrian's colossal image placed in the largest hall of the Roman Baths should be seen in this context. For the initial announcement of this discovery, see "Major Find at Sagalassos." For an in depth account, see "Hadrian at Sagalassos."

Around the fragments of the statuary was a concentration of a lot of small bones, which were collected for further examination by the archaeozoologists. They will provide us a lot of information about the possible animal activity in the building after his abandonment.

During this week the team also discovered between the northwest and northeast pier a column fragment. Because in this part the floor has not been reached yet it was not possible to say that the column fragment was still in situ, but because of his position just in the middle between the two pillars this could be a good possibility. The other finds of these two weeks, in addition to statuary, were ceramics, faunal remains, metal and glass objects, plaster fragments, and crustae (marble wall veneer).

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