During the first half of the week, the team supervised by Toon Putzeys (K.U. Leuven) and Ertug Ergürer (Erzurum University) further excavated room 9, a (work)shop located inside the eastern portico. This single-room shop was only accessible by means of a nicely framed doorway in its south wall, probably going back to the arrangement of the portico in the first century A.D.
Four different layers could be distinguished inside the shop. Layer 1 was topsoil, a humus-rich soil containing building material, and Layers 2 and 3 were interpreted as waste disposal layers. Layer 2 was rather loose and contained a lot of material, especially ceramics and bones. The three oil lamps found last week came from this layer (see August 10-16). The ceramics (at least four crates of sherds) seem to be consistent from a chronological point of view and date to the seventh century A.D. Layer 3 was much harder to interpret. It contained a lot of artifacts as well, but it was less rich and more mixed. We think this waste-disposal layer may be related to building activities elsewhere. The fourth layer, only 0.10 m above the floor, contained occupational material such as four coins and a metal suspension device. The floor itself consisted of tile and slabs in the center and beaten earth in the corners. Contextual analysis of all finds from room 9 is needed to establish its exact character.
The team started clearing the southernmost (work)shops in the eastern portico during the second half of the week. We immediately found a continuation of the seventh-century water channel excavated during the first weeks of this campaign. The channel was very well preserved in this area and runs for about 10 meters from room 9 to the southwestern border of the shops. Next week it will be removed to further examine the subdivision of the shops.
Importantly, our finds confirm continuous use of the eastern portico area until the sixth century. The water channel's arrangement occurred during the seventh century at the earliest, probably after the seismic catastrophe that levelled the city around the middle of that century.