N-S Colonnaded Street - South Gate: July 8-12, 2007
Excavations of the road surface of the N-S Colonnaded Street also continued by the same team on the other side of the sections excavated in 2005 and 2006, in the area of what is believed to have been one of, if not the Hellenistic main entrance(s) to the city, possibly rebuilt during the Late Roman period, when Sagalassos was partially fortified again, presumably largely following the circuit of the Hellenistic city walls, believed to date to the later 3rd c. BC. In this area, neither pavement nor stylobate walls bordering the street displayed unexpected features, but were a continuation of what was encountered during previous campaigns, being medium-sized slabs laid in more or less orderly rows, sloping down towards the south. As was the case during last years, the western and eastern edges of the road pavement were apparently re-laid in late Roman times, presumably to repair old or install new water pipes. This will be further clarified in future soundings underneath the pavement.
In contrast to the area excavated in 2006, immediately to the north of the present excavation trench, the erosion material that accumulated in front of the collapse of the towers bordering the street, coming from the area of the shops (?) to the west it contained more glass and metal finds. On the other hand, tiles were virtually absent in the collapse layer, suggesting that the collonade's roof never collapsed on the road surface. To the west of the western stylobate, a foundation fill was encountered. This must have supported the colonnade, of which the level was ca. 2 m higher than that of the road surface itself, as is indicated by the location of doorsills in the colonnade's back wall.
In the area of the gate itself, the area was cleared of vegetation in order to clarify the plan of the towers. This was mainly successful for the western tower, whereas the eastern one and the area in between remained covered under collapsed material and sediments deposited by wind erosion. It became clear that the towers were composed of two outer facings made of ashlar with a rubble fill in between. Excavation continued in the area in between the two towers and mainly consisted of clearing away rubble, registering and drawing the position of all architectural fragments in this area, mainly coming from the collapse of the western tower. The collapse layer in between the two towers can presumably be largely identified with the original fill of the western tower. As the collapse contained many fragments of small columns, of bases, of moulded architectural elements etcetera, whereas the ashlars of the outer facings were a mixture of bossed ashlars, ashlars with drafted edges and ordinary ashlars, a late reconstruction date for the tower is likely.
During the next days, we hope to expose the side walls of both towers and the remains of the wall sections once connecting them. Finally, we shall also check whether or not the gate had been blocked in a later period. In the original publication of the fortification wall, a late blocking was described and it was suggested that this was contemporary with the construction of the late wall itself.