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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
Pottery from the last occupation on Alexander's Hill

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

Ceramic Studies: August 10-16, 2003

As usual during the second half of the campaign, the ceramological analysis of the finds of this year's surveys and excavations was initiated by Jeroen Poblome (K.U. Leuven) assisted by Philip Bes (Leiden) and Senem Özden (Istanbul). The process involves fabric and typological identification and full quantification of the finds. From the various contexts already analysed, three preliminary results are worth mentioning.

The sondage executed in Room 3 of the southern part of the Lower Agora (see Lower Agora - South, August 3-9) contained a well defined assemblage of the second half of the first century A.D., providing an earlier date for the original layout of the eastern portico than previously established. The new date corresponds better to the architectural context and decoration of the portico complex. The assemblage can be associated with secondary filling operations, therefore disallowing detailed contextual analyses.

Secondly, 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 (see Antoninus Pius, August 3-9). The taphonomic features of the assemblage consist mainly of weathering because of trampling or secondary filling and not erosion. Chronologically two groups--early and middle Byzantine--can be distinguished. This may imply that the actual top soil corresponds closer to the original walking surface in these periods than previously assumed, with sub-recent soil formation processes mixing the material. The identification of a limited series of fabrics of the seventh to tenth centuries A.D., on the other hand, is a breakthrough in our knowledge of the ceramic development of the town and region and suggests some form of continuity of occupation in this part of Sagalassos. The exact nature of the mid-Byzantine assemblage in the imperial portico needs to be further established, but the quantification and fabric determination does not suggest an extensive occupation over the mentioned three centuries. Most fabrics seem to be regional in nature.

Finally, the results of the sondages on Alexander's Hill imply an organized presence at Sagalassos into the thirteenth century A.D. The assemblage consisted of a variety of regional fabrics for storage and other household wares, and a series of imported lead-glazed tablewares. The latter were most probably imported through Antalya and can be seen in relation to the military occupation and provisioning of the hilltop.

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