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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
Photos courtesy Sagalassos Archaeological Research Project. Click on images to enlarge.
by Marc Waelkens

Test Soundings in the Urban Fabric: Aims 2008

A program of test soundings was initiated in 1998 to provide a first insight in the character and chronology of the layout of the urban infrastructure at Sagalassos, and to get a firmer grip on the spatial evolution of the urban area outside of the monumental center. Since 2002, our geophysical survey has actually visualized extensive parts of the monumental center, but test soundings are used to add a chronological dimension to these results and to resolve particular problems in the reconstruction of the town plan. Furthermore test soundings instruct on the character, chronology, and organization of the network of streets and the water network.

In 2008, trenches in three areas will be excavated:

  1. On the slope between the Theater to the east and the Library-Fountain complex to the west, the geophysical survey revealed a regular pattern of insulae divided by streets. Earlier test soundings showed that this eastern residential area must have been laid out during the early Imperial period, with at least one phase of rearrangement during the transition of the second to the third century A.D. Further soundings will have to confirm this internal chronology and will give indications on the concept behind the urban planning here. Furthermore, these test soundings will also focus on the reconstruction of the water network, as the final destination of the upper eastern aqueduct can possibly be traced in this area.

  2. Whereas the eastern residential area is being investigated by an ongoing program of test soundings, the planning and internal chronological development of the western domestic area is still relatively poorly understood. Small trial areas of this urban quarter have been investigated with geophysical techniques and this will be continued during the 2008 campaign. Furthermore, the area will be cleaned from vegetation in order to obtain a better insight into the position of the surface architecture, and its evidence will be mapped.

  3. Within the framework of the anastylosis project of the Antonine Nymphaeum it is our intention to restore the original water evacuation system. Doing this will requires that we understand how water was evacuated in ancient times from the entire Upper Agora area. Two drainage systems below the pavement slabs were used in antiquity. Therefore, geophysical and archaeological research should therefore establish the precise course of these systems, their date and function.

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