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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
This limestone block, used in Imperial times for carving an arcosolium tomb, has flowed about 1 km from its place of origin.
Section through the earth flow covering deposits containing in situ ceramics

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

The Geomorphological Survey: August 10-16, 2003

This week, the geomorphologists--E. Paulissen (KULeuven), his collaborator Veronique de Laet, and student Koen Dossche--studied the mass movements close to Sagalassos on the northern slopes of the valley of the Aglasun River, an area nowadays transformed into agricultural terraces with high terrace walls. The disturbed area is clearly visible on the digital terrain model. Different types of mass movements occur, in this case they are of the flow type, forming a huge lobe ending more than 1 km downslope. Its sediments are very heterogeneous and are composed of clayey materials mixed with blocks from the different geological formations in the mountain slope. The limestone blocks, some of them used in ancient times, are very obvious in the landscape.

The area is composed of several flows pre-dating the Roman occupation, as is attested by the presence of large concentration of ceramics and the remnants of a villa in situ discovered by the survey team. But at least one important flow, more than 500 m wide, dates from historical times. In this section, a 5 m thick earth flow deposit covers heterogeneous deposits--probably manmade deposits behind terrace walls--containing a lot of ceramics. According to ceramologist Jeroen Poblome, the youngest of these in situ ceramics date from the sixth century A.D. These data prove the post sixth century age of the large earth flow.

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