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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
Room 4 with the remains of the division wall and the north-south arch that divided it into two parts.
Pottery smashed in situ on top of layer 4 in room 4
Handle of an early-Byzantine bronze jug decorated with a Medusa head, found in layer 4 of room 4

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

The Lower Agora - North: August 10-16, 2003

During the first half of the week, the excavation team led by Bernard Van Daele and Kerim Altug focused on the northern zone of the east portico of the Lower Agora (see August 3-9). Inside curved room 3, in the northwest corner of the late Roman to early Byzantine dwelling encroaching upon the square's eastern portico (second half of the first century A.D.), we removed more of the earthquake destruction layer from the Roman Baths in order to reach the debris from the building itself, the floor deposit, and finally the floor. These layers contained architectural fragments, some of them used as spolia (reused building elements such as architrave- frieze blocks, cornices, and columns). There were also many tiles from the roof, which had fallen during the earthquake. Tiles of the floor in this room were smashed for the greater part, but nevertheless easily discernible. The lower sections of the south, east, and north walls were still covered with white plaster. In the west wall a kind of tunnel was discovered, running toward the Severan nymphaeum north of the agora, below the northeastern staircase that gave access to this square. This drain seems to run parallel and join up with the water channel in between the Severan and the Trajanic fountain walls (see introduction). The south wall of this 40 by 40 cm drain was made of nicely laid bricks, the north side of rubble stones.

The team also continued excavating the largest room of the house, room 4, immediately south of room 3. This is the room in which a collapsed floor led to the discovery of the perfectly preserved first-century A.D. sewage system (see August 3-9).Part of a relief carved into a column was found, representing a kind of winged figure. The roof construction apparently had collapsed right on top of the floor below and the latter's tiles got mixed with the floor deposit in the violent mid-seventh-century earthquake (cf. room 3). This layer contained many finds like seventh-century ceramics (an oil lamp and even a new type of pottery), some of them still in situ, metal objects (e.g. a handle of a bronze vessel), window glass from the window that had been found earlier in the room's east wall and opened toward the street in front of the baths. There were also two coins, one of Theodosius I (A.D. 393-395) and another from the time of Constantius II or Julian (354-361). Against the eastern wall the team found the base of a ca. 1.20 m wide arch that had completely collapsed. It must have joined up with the base of the arch unearthed the week before. Parts of this second arch, made of bricks alternating with tuff blocks, were found on the partially collapsed floor level. We discovered another wall foundation, parallel with the west wall of the cistern under room 5, further dividing room 4 into smaller spaces. In the area where the floor had collapsed, we investigated another (northern) section of the sewer unearthed last week. This section of the sewer was only preserved over a distance of about 2 m. More to the north it was filled with earth and rubble.

By coincidence, an early Byzantine coin was on the surface, dating from the reign of Justinian I (527-565). Moreover flotation of soil samples yielded no less than 11 coins, most of them dating to the fourth and fifth century A.D. An additional soil sample was taken from inside the sewer in order to analyse the content of the sewer deposit more closely.

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