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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
Washing the sherds
Philip Bes and Senem Özden study the typology of some of the ceramic assemblages.

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

Ceramic Studies: August 3-9, 2003

As usual during the second half of the campaign, the ceramological analysis of this year's finds began. The process involves identifying the fabric and type fabric and full quantification of the pottery finds. From the various contexts already analyzed by Jeroen Poblome, two preliminary results are worth mentioning.

First, the sondage executed in Room 3 of the Lower Agora (see Lower Agora, July 13-19) contained a well-defined assemblage of the second half of the first century, giving an earlier date for the lay-out of the eastern portico than previously established. The new date corresponds better to the architectural context and decoration of the portico complex. Second, a lot of attention was paid to the top two layers of the sondages in the northern portico of the temple of Hadrian and Antoninus Pius. Chronologically two groups could be distinguished, being early and mid-Byzantine in date. This may imply that the current topsoil corresponds to the original walking surface in these periods more closely than previously assumed, with sub-recent soil-formation processes mixing the material. The identification of a limited series of fabrics of the seventh to the tenth century A.D., on the other hand, is a breakthrough in our knowledge of the ceramic development of the town and the surrounding region, and suggests some form of continuity of occupation in this part of Sagalassos. Including the results of the sondages on Alexander's Hill, this implies an organized presence at Sagalassos into the thirteenth century A.D. The exact nature of the mid-Byzantine assemblage in the imperial portico needs to be further established, but the ceramic analysis does not suggest an extensive occupation over the mentioned three centuries. All fabrics seem to be regional in nature. From this week onward, two archaeologists were also involved into studying the ceramic assemblages: Philip Bes (Uleiden) and Senem Özden (Istanbul University). As in previous years, except for pottery that will be sampled for residue analysis, all sherds are washed by our loyal workmen Süleyman Kantekin and Methmet Is.

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