Home | Archaeology Magazine | More Digs | AIA
Archaeology's Interactive Dig
July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
Jeroen Poblome (left) and geophysicist Igor Medaric at Tepe Düzen. In the background, Sagalassos is clearly visible with, on the left, the Doric Temple and NW Heroon, behind Jeroen the conical Alexander's Hill and above it the roof above the Neon Library. The theater is located behind Igor's head, and to the right of it extends the Potters' Quarter.
Detailed ground-penetrating radar analysis of the area west of the central plateau produced excellent images of badly preserved buildings, with above a clear structure of the naiskos in antis (a building made of anteroom with on the open front two columns in between the side walls, and a larger back room). This plan was very popular for small shrines). Below, more complicated, larger and more irregular structures can be seen.
Fireplace (see red burnt earth in the corner) built on top of layer 4 in the eastern sector (I).
The large refuse pit along the western part of sector 2, which was dug out in layer 4 and at its lowest points reached the virgin soil. The outlines of this pit ran beyond the western and northern edge of the sector.
The western extension (sector 4) of sector 2, carried out in order to fully excavate the large refuse pit in sector 2. The two wall sections standing perpendicular to one another are either the extension of the large NW-SE wall in sector 2 or the corner of a neighboring building with the same orientation
View of sector 3 connecting the excavations from 2007 with those of 2006 and the mass of irregular stones in its upper layers.
Sector 5. In the corner made by the two new walls in the foreground the traces of a circular hearth place are clearly visible.
Circular concentration of limestone rubble and chips, possibly the remains of a filled up pit" in sector 6.
Left: corner of a building in sector 5; adjoining the western wall of the large SW-NE orientated building in sectors 1 and 2

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

Tepe Düzen: July 15-26, 2007

Architectural mapping (H. Vanhaverbeke)

During weeks 2 and 3, Sabri Aydal and Hannelore Vanhaverbeke finished the mapping of all architectural surface remains at Tepe Düzen. In the following weeks and months, Sabri Aydal will produce a complete map of the site, showing the extent and density of its surface architecture.

Geophysical research
The Slovenian team of the University of Ljubljana, supervised by Branko Music and including Igor Medaric, Matjaz Mori, Dejan Cesarek and Rok Zizek continued their work both at Tepe Düzen (with Dr. H.Vanhaverbeke, K.U.Leuven) and at Sagalassos (with Dr. Femke Martens).

At Tepe Düzen last year, we surveyed an area of 160 by 160 m by applying magnetometry and this area has now been expanded. But limestone outcrops limit the suitability of an area for any geophysical survey. Therefore, a combination of magnetometry and georadar was found to be a more efficient approach. Results of the magnetic method show very good lateral resolution, which enables creating precise plans of architectural remains and reconstructing settlement patterns. Last year's georadar survey comfirmed the results of the archaeological survey in this area and our hypotheses about the extent of the settlement. In addition, it revealed new evidence about the preservation of architectural remains, clearly demonstrating that even badly preserved architectural remains can be detected by this approach of geophysical survey and can thus be visualized for planning future excavations. Next to completing the magnetic survey on the lower plateau, which is supposed to be a central part of the settlement, the 2007 geophysical prospection at Tepe Düzen also checked several terraces to the west of this area by more detailed georadar surveys.

Map of Tepe Düzen (S. Aydal) with the location of the area that was excavated in 2006 and 2007, and of the zone that was studied by using geophysics (team of B. Music). Numbers1-6 identify the zones excavated under the supervision of K.Vyncke
Geophysical map of part of Tepe Düzen (made by B. Music's team) clearly shows limestone anomalies as well as the remains of several buildings, some of them of rather large dimensions. On the map are indicated the excavated trenches of 2006 (red) and the 2007 trenches (green).

Excavations (K.Vyncke)

The team supervised by Kim Vyncke started the second week's investigations at Tepe Duzen by further excavating the two sectors that were in progress last week.

In the eastern sector--sector 1--they completed work in the area north of the large NE-SW wall, removing the two concentrations of stones left there. They carefully started removing some limestone rubble in the area south of the NE-SW wall, in the area where they suspected one or more wall phases. Soon however, they had to conclude that most of these stones had been detached from a pile of limestone rubble and smaller chip like stones, situated in the southwestern corner of the sector. Below these stones, the by now "usual" layer 4 appeared. The most remarkable archaeological contexts in this area were the remains of three fireplaces. One of them was situated on top of layer 4; the other two were located on top of the virgin soil. Samples for flotation were taken from each of these fireplaces. Among the remarkable small finds in this area were some large sherds of a storage vessel and an unidentified metal object.

In the eastern part of the sector, another concentration of small chips to large limestone rubble was removed until the edge of the trench. There were no clear wall remains to be noticed in this area either and again the usual layer 4 appeared when removing the chips. The concentration of the latter is so evenly dispersed that one could wonder whether they were not part of a later flooring phase of the space originally covered by layer 4, into which chips had been embedded. Underneath these stones, a large amount of sherds from a ceramic vessel was found, which was lying in pieces right next to the NE-SW wall. This find is probably the most complete vessel found so far during the excavations at Tepe Düzen.

During the previous week only layer 4 was partly excavated in the western sector--sector 2. Other than a rather small refuse pit in the middle of the sector, this layer contained virtually no archaeological finds. In this sector, the team also found a large refuse pit along the western part of the sector, which was dug out in layer 4 and at its lowest points reached the virgin soil. The outlines of this pit ran beyond the western and northern edge of the sector. The excavation was expanded 3 m to the west--sector 4--to trace the pit's edge. Samples for flotation were taken from this pit's fill. In this sector, two perpendicular walls built on top of the pit were found, which are either the continuation of the NW-SE wall revealed in sector 2, or the corner of another building with the same orientation. To the northeast of this, the remains of a hearth (in fact a stratigraphy of at least 3 successive hearths) were detected. The large amount of stones in this westernmost sector made it difficult to distinguish any clear wall remains apart from the ones just mentioned.

In order to get more insight in the layout of the walls and the possible connection with the walls in last year's trench, a small excavation area--sector 3--was opened south of sector 2 connecting this sector with last year's trench. Another large concentration of stones became visible, making it once again hard to distinguish clear walls. Further investigation in this sector is needed, but at this moment the remains of phase 1 walls were detected running on top of an older phase/phases, which again--like last year's conclusions--seems to prove that wall remains of the oldest phases were reused in later construction phases.

During the third week of the campaign, in the eastern part of the trench, the excavation was expanded one sector (5x5 m) to the north--sector 5--in order to investigate the layer of burnt mud brick on top of layer 4 that was visible in the north profile of sector 1, and to take a look at the concentration of limestone chips that was visible in the eastern part of this sector's surface. In the western part of this sector, a stratigraphy of the usual four layers was detected, yet layer 4 contained a surprisingly large amount of pottery and faunal remains. Since a rather large amount of burnt animal bones and charcoal remains was also found, samples for flotation were taken, which can provide very useful material for the investigation of faunal and botanical archaeological material by macro-botanist Elena Marinova (Center for Archaeological Sciences, K.U.Leuven).

The area that contained the layer of burnt mud brick was fully excavated. Geomorphologist Veronique De Laet took a sample in this area in order to find any possible floor levels by microscopic investigation. In the eastern part of this sector a wall running NW-SE across the whole sector was found, perpendicular to the large SW-NE wall found last week.

In the area east of this NW-SE wall, another concentration of limestone chips was revealed. Most of these chips were removed, because their position made clear that they must have fallen down from a wall or a pile of stones situated outside the eastern edge of the sector. While removing the stones and the remaining part of layer 4, the team hit upon the remains of a fireplace situated on top of the virgin soil. Some pottery and faunal material was found in these remains, and soil samples were taken to discover possible smaller archaeological material by the means of flotation.

Lastly, a new trench, sector 6, was opened in an area NW of the current sectors, where the geophysical investigation by Branko Music's team revealed a dense pattern of subsurface anomalies (possibly a street and several buildings). The investigation in this area will serve to understand the possible archaeological meaning of such anomalies in further geophysical investigation. The first two layers in this new sector were removed, without providing any unusual archaeological material. A third layer situated in the middle area of the sector was found, which is different from the usual layer 3 found in our trenches of both this campaign and last summer's. This area is surrounded by what might be a circular concentration of limestone rubble and chips. This remains unproven since the edges of the stone concentration are situated outside the sector. Most of these stones were removed because there were no clear architectural structures visible. Underneath the unusual layer 3, the usual layer 4 appeared everywhere, except for some spots where only the virgin soil was found. It is thus highly probable that the layer 3 is the filling of a pit dug into layer 4 and partly into the virgin soil.

In the northwestern corner of the sector, the team found two thick layers of burnt soil (about 2 cm thick) separated by a layer of unburnt soil of about 10 cm thick. The correct interpretation of this context is still unclear. Based on the experience of other members of the Sagalassos team, however, an interpretation as a hearth is the most probable at this moment. This context might be one of the subsurface anomalies visible on the results of the geophysical investigation.

On July 26, this year's excavation campaign at Tepe Duzen was finished. The team completed (or almost completed) archaeological investigations in six sectors and found some architectural remains as well as pottery, faunal, floral, and other finds that will be very interesting for further investigation by the Sagalassos team. Next week, all of the archaeological remains at Tepe Düzen will be drawn and the exact stratigraphy and architectural situation in all of the trenches will be further examined.

Conclusion (H.Vanhaverbeke and M. Waelkens)

This excavation campaign at Tepe Düzen offered us much new information to expand and revise our conclusions drawn from last year's excavations. First of all, new data have been gathered about the architectural characteristics of the buildings at this site. Three of the four architectural phases that had been identified last year have been identified in the new trenches and once again it became clear that walls from older phases were often reused in newer structures, possibly changing the complete layout of several (parts of) buildings. In fact the architectural remains that were found during this campaign made clear that quite important architectural changes happened even within a time span or "phase."

Apart from architectural data, we again gathered information about waste management by the discovery of both several refuse pits and a potential spreading of garbage. Once again, excavations helped us to understand the relationship between geophysical survey results and actual archaeological contexts. For example, we confirmed that one of the subsurface anomalies recognized by geophysical survey was the presumed remains of a fireplace found during the excavations.

Interdisciplinary researchers of the Sagalassos team are still studying the pottery (including, for the first time, a nearly complete vessel), faunal and floral remains (partly collected by the means of flotation), and metal and other small finds. This investigation will probably offer much interesting information about the material culture of Iron Age Tepe Düzen.

The sheer size of the latter--even larger than its post-Classical (fourth century B.C.) successor at Sagalassos leaves no doubt about the fact that--depending on the ongoing dating of its pottery and other finds (datable by AMS radiocarbon dating)--Tepe Düzen had become the center of the successive Yesilbasköy and Aglasun valley systems. This is one of the largest valley systems in the territory of the Imperial city, hollowed out by one of the main tributaries of the Aksu (ancient Kestros) River. This regional center went back to the eighth or at the latest the sixth century B.C. A preliminary study of its pottery compared to that from other contemporary settlements ("Herrensitze," proto-urban sites, large farming villages?) showed that it already played a dominant role in producing pottery for regional use as well, even using the same clay pits as those exploited for the Imperial Sagalassos Red Slip Wares. The study of ceramics and radiocarbon dating (AMS) of some of the botanical remains should eventually give us a clearer picture, about the three to four successive building phases, which have been encountered thus far in the excavated area. However, one thing is clear: there is no doubt that, perhaps long time before the end of its existence in the fourth century B.C., Tepe Düzen or the Ur-Sagalassos (and potentially the fourteenth century B.C. Luwian Salawassa) had already become an "urban" settlement, whereas most other hilltop sites in the area, despite sometimes skillfully executed fortification walls, never left the "proto-urban" stage, as they lack evidence of monumental public or religious architecture. By comparison, at Tepe Düzen we have the size of the circuit wall; the acropolis; the number, typology, and size of a dense vernacular architecture; the presence of clearly public structures, probably both political and religious; the coexistence of larger and smaller housing units pointing toward a socially stratified society; the many artifacts, of which at least some (some pottery types) were locally produced. Most probably, the other hilltop sites were quickly absorbed by either Tepe Düzen or, at the latest, by Sagalassos during the fourth century B.C. or early Hellenistic times.

A second thing is clear: as traces of later occupation are very scarce, despite the fact that both Tepe Düzen and Sagalassos formed one single site connected by a common acropolis and necropolis, Tepe Düzen clearly was one of the major Early Iron Age Pisidian settlements and probably the only one, where the indigenous Pisidian culture, most likely originating from a continuity of Luwian culture, mixed with Greek elements spreading inland from coastal Pamphylia in the south and from the strongly Hellenized Lycia in the southwest, can be examined in all potential aspects. Therefore, the excavation director considers Tepe Düzen as the most important discovery since he started to examine the mountains around Aglasun and most probably also of the rest of his career.

Previous pageNext page

InteractiveDig is produced by ARCHAEOLOGY Magazine
© 2010 Archaeological Institute of America

Home | Archaeology Magazine | More Digs | AIA