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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
The Hadrianic nymphaeum from the south

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

The Lower Agora - Hadrianic Nymphaeum: August 24-30, 2003

Activities continued for one more day at the Hadrianic nymphaeum dominating the north side of the Lower Agora. As expected in view of the area south of the fountain, no new finds were made here except for some small sculpture fragments. Meanwhile, Semra Seral has been studying and reassembling dozens of sculpture fragments found inside the exposed part of the basin (see Sculptural Studies, August 24-30).

Only the lower part of the nymphaeum's lowest of two stories is still standing. The U-shaped building--two side wings surrounding a central basin--faces a street running to the east, immediately north and above the Trajanic nymphaeum. The basin could be reached from the street by means of a seven-step stairway. To the west of the large side wing, the lower story contains a rectangular niche, a semi-circular niche, and a much larger rectangular niche. The nymphaeum's back wall supported a 1.7-meter podium interupted by projecting pilasters decorated with reliefs. The fourth pilaster could not be completely exposed, but its relief seems to represent the same Muse (Klio) as the second. The greater distance between the two left pilasters points towards the more important niche above it. The podium, which supported the back wall of the nymphaeum, is crowned by a cornice decorated with palmettes. Based on standing remains, the building must have been at least 21.3-meters long, and its height from the water basin's limestone floor is 5.52 meters.

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