Roman Baths: July 6-10, 2008
View of the round tub with its two steps
View of the blocked-off water-supply system in the round tub
Tunnel to bring the hot air inside tepidarium
During the 2008 campaign our excavations in the Roman Baths will be concentrated mainly in the south parts of the enormous building, which has been excavated since 1995 thanks to generous grants of the family L. Lamberts-Van Assche. This week both teams directed by Marie Lefere (KU Leuven), Hasan Uzunöğlu (Mimar Sinan University, Istanbul), Ozan Yildirim (Kocaeli University, Izmit), and Serkan Demir (Trakya University, Edirne) worked closely together exposing parts of the building's south wall. At the moment we have only exposed another row of ashlars that formed part of the main south wall of tepidarium 2. Several ashlar blocks still carry quarry or stonemason's marks (to identify the workmen for their payment per stone). We also have discovered the upper part of a window in that wall. Also south of the praefurnium we are continuing exposing the south wall, as we have lost one row of ashlars there, so it might be interesting to see how the wall is continuing in that area. It is the intention to continue and expose also the south wall of frigidarium I as well.
In one room of the baths, most probably the praefurnium (heating room) of the second tepidarium (tepid water room) dating from Late Antiquity (probably fourth century A.D.) the excavations begun there last year were extended. This included the removal of two layers mainly composed of ceramics and crustae (marble wall veneer). Two elements that must have belonged to the parapet of a bathtub of the usual type inside the complex (with a simple upper and lower molding) were removed as well. But instead of the usual green to bluish densely veined limestone, these stones were made of a pink variety with reddish veins.
The praefurnium also contained the remains of a limestone staircase, almost certainly belonging to an earlier building phase, of which two steps were already exposed, most likely leading to a small circular bath (either a private tub or part of a sudatorium or sweating room). This staircase abuts a fragmentary wall structure made of mortared layers of large bricks (0.40 x 0.40 x 0.05 m). A closed off water channel was found inside this structure.
The opus sectile floor covering the frigidarium II and the apodyterium, which was excavated from 2002 to 2004, was once again partially exposed during the first week of the campaign in order to allow Markku Corremans to carry out his doctoral research on imported exotic stones used at Sagalassos. The floor was probably laid in the fourth century A.D., when the interior of the Roman Baths was extensively renovated. The aim of the research is to determine the source of the stone types used. Up until now, about a quarter of the floor was uncovered. The main focus will be to analyze the polychrome geometric floor panels. Most of the material used for the refurbishment of the floor originates from Dokimeion, a major quarrying site located about 175km. north of Sagalassos. The marbles from this site consist of pavonazetto (purple and yellow veined white marble or breccia), Afyon şeker and Afyon beyaz (both white marbles), Afyon gri (gray marble), Afyon bal (honey-colored marble), and kaplan postu (gray marble with a tiger skin pattern). Other sources are Aphrodisias (white and gray marble) in Turkey, the Peloponnesus (rosso antico, a dark red limestone), Thessaly (verde antico, a greenish breccia), and Euboia (cipollino, a light green semi-crystallized limestone) in Greece. Other types of stone have yet to be identified.
Plan of the fourth to early fifth century A.D. frigidarium II
with their opus sectile