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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
The street winding around the southwest corner of the Roman Baths. On the right is one of the drains in mortared rubble.
Three early Byzantine oil lamps from layer 2 in room 9

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

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

During this week, Toon Putzeys and Ertug Ergürer further cleared the street and area in front of the southwestern corner of the Roman Baths. The western border of the area is formed by the back wall of the shops of the eastern portico, which runs parallel to the front wall of the bath building. This back wall is made of mortared rubble, erected on top of the foundations of shops from the original layout of the portico, which could be dated to the second half of the first century thanks to the sondage made during this campaign in room 3 of Lower Agora - South. The original back wall seems to have been made of brick. The road is between the shops and the bath building. It is approximately 2.50 m wide and constructed with slabs and some reused material like former architectural elements, pointing to several later repairs, a fact which is also shown by the water and drainage system next to it (see July 27-August 2). Although its main orientation is north-south, the road turns slightly to the east and then to the west. Water channels are situated to the left, right, and underneath the road.

East of the road, in front of the sixth-century entrance to the ground level of the baths (see August 3-9) a hard layer of dark brown soil inclines slightly to the front of this entrance. Of this layer, only a part in front of the east-west running wall of the bath building was excavated, revealing three more water channels covered by mortared limestone. Many sherds from different periods (the last belong to the sixth century) and a rather large amount of bones were retrieved as well, while the composition of the layer had all the characteristics of a fill (hard, clayish layers of different colors and mixed material). Probably the layer was put down during the last reorganization of the Roman baths following the early sixth-century earthquake, after which the surface of the fill was used as a walking level.

Toward the end of the week, the team started to excavate room 9, a 3 m x 4.20 m single room (work)shop just to the south of the late Roman to early Byzantine dwelling encroaching upon the east portico. They removed the top soil and part of a waste deposit layer (layer 2), which seems to have been dumped inside. Among other things it yielded three well preserved sixth-century lamps.

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