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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
View from the north of the Lower Agora (foreground left), the basilica in the Apollo Klarios shrine (foreground right) and the N-S Colonnaded Street in the middle; in the upper left corner the ruins of the big Imperial temple for the Divine Hadrian and for Antoninus Pius are clearly visible.
The start of the test sounding in the shop along the western edge of the northern end of the N-S Colonnaded Street
On the right, the Tiberian (-Claudian) mortar substrate of the original shop's floor
The cellar-like storage facility in the corner of the shop

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

N-S Colonnaded Street: August 6-8, 2007

The team of Ine Jacobs (K.U. Leuven) returned to the northernmost exposed section of the North-South Colonnaded Street after working at the so-called South Gate. (It proved to have been two probably Hellenistic towers on either side of the N-S Colonnaded Street that were rebuilt at several occasions in Late Antiquity, and eventually blocked off completely.) At the northernmost exposed section of the Street, a test sounding was dug out in one of the shops to the west of the street, in between the sounding executed last year (see N-S Colonnaded Street, July 30-August 3, 2006) and an older trench laid out in already in 1998 by Dr. Femke Martens (K.U. Leuven). As a result, one of the shops was uncovered over its entire width (4.78 m) and depth of 3.20 m. Contrary to last year, some features of the shop's interior decoration were still preserved.

[image] View of the N-S Colonnaded Street seen from the east toward the end of its excavation; on the left the fortified blocking of this main artery; the 2006-2007 test soundings in took place to the right of the shops.

The original floor of the shop could still be identified by a thin mortar layer. Ceramics underneath and on top of it indicate that it had been laid out in the first half of the first century A.D., most likely in the Tiberian-Claudian period (A.D. 17-54). The same dating had already been established for the laying of some paved sections of the street, so that we can now conclude, with a great degree of certainty, that this main North-South Colonnaded Street had been laid out to a large extent in this period. However, in some later reports, based on a more detailed study of the buried ceramics, it was suggested that the beginning of the street construction already took place during the final years of the first century A.D., under Augustus (see Introduction 2007). After this year's campaign, we can now with more certainty date the whole layout to the reign of Tiberius (A.D. 14-37), possibly continuing under his successor Claudius. This still makes Sagalassos' N-S Colonnaded Street one of the oldest colonnades in the Near East.

[image] [image]
The fourth-fifth century A.D. tile floor of the shop; detail of the floor

There were no other remains related to this first period of usage. At a some point, the shops had been reconstructed completely, from the foundations on up. In this last phase, the room was provided with a brick floor, which was however only present in the southeast corner of the room (covering a surface of ca. 2.20 by 1.80 m). The size of the bricks (0.28 by 0.28 by 0.04 m) suggest they were put in place in the fourth or fifth c. A.D. Connected to this phase, there was also a squarish underground structure situated in the northeast corner of the space. It must have been used for storage as a kind of cellar. At the time of its excavation, this structure was filled with soil containing some fish bones and a large quantity of ceramic sherds that could be assigned to the second half of the sixth ca. A.D. The most beautiful piece here was no doubt an intact oinophoros (wine bottle: see Find of the Week). This indicates that at least this structure, and possibly the entire shop went out of use by that time. Perhaps this abandonment was connected with the earthquake destroying large parts of the city roughly ca. A.D. 590-620.

After this sounding, the team moved to the site of Apollo Klarios, both to the inside of the Church (AK1) and to the necropolis located to the south of it (AK2).

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