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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
The Lower Agora from above, one of 500 aerial photographs taken this week
Illustration of pointing and capping activities on a wall in the Domestic Area (Drawing by Nathan Fash)
Our team of illustrators
Luca Ponzetta goes through the washed sherds from a specific context.

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

Recording Activities: August 3-9, 2003

3D Murale
Sagalassos is one of the main partners of the EU 3D Murale project (coordinated by J.Cosmas, Brunel University, London), which aims at developing databases and 3-D technology (for recording and reconstructing stratigraphical layers, buildings, sherds, sculpture, and architecture, etc.). Throughout the whole season, all 3-D recording is carried out on an almost daily basis by Tijl Vereenooghe. The development of the database and of the so-called STRAT software tool, which allows a 3-D rendering of the excavation process, even weeks after it was carried out, is done at Brunel. In that context Damian Green visited us briefly in order to test the STRAT software tool in the field and examine the workings of the system. We'll now be improving our inclusion of not rectangular grids and of theodolite point measurements and photogrammetric data for surface registration.

Aerial photography
Very strong winds throughout most of the week allowed Dirk Menten, Ilse Desmedt, Juan Willems, and Marc Waelkens to get up even half an hour earlier than on normal days, in order to start recording around 6:30 a.m., as winds usually become very irregular around 8:30. This was also the case this week, as our kite and expensive camera suddenly crashed inside the Antoninus Pius sanctuary on the third day of recording, damaging the protective frame, but sparing the actual camera. We took more than 500 aerial photographs in a mere three mornings, covering the whole area surveyed by our Slovenian geophysicist colleagues (see Geophysical Survey, July 6-26), as well as all excavation sectors. We obtained very nice results from this.

Video recording
For 14 years now, retired professor Paul Bockstaele has made an archive of hundreds of hours of video recording of the excavations and other activities. He continued this work last week.

Architectural remains
As the excavations are now going at full intensity, our team of architects supervised by Karel Paul assisted by Belgian (Sarah Vaelen) and Turkish architects or architectural students (Günnur Caliskan, Nilay Gökünçü, Derya Güleç, Ethem Gürer, and Nursah Genç) has reached its cruising speed. They are "flying" without rest from one site to the other, in order to catch up with ground plans (before the walls become too high to record them) and, at the same time, drawing elevations of walls or cross sections of rooms.

Conservation activities
Besides actually conserving the in situ remains, the site conservation team also keeps and updates detailed records of all their interventions on the site. This is done both photographically, as well as graphically. The latter has been carried out for two weeks now by Nathan Fash (USA), who documents all interventions in the greatest detail.

Small finds
Each year a selection of small artifacts is documented in detail. This is done both photographically--two photographers will arrive next weekend--and graphically. Our team of illustrators--Neslihan Yilmaz (Bilkent University and now a KULeuven archaeology graduate student) and of a group of Belgian graphic students from the Provincial Highschool of Limburg at Diepenbeek (Merel Eyckerman, Benjamin Leroy, Wout Schildermans, and Raf Thijs--has started the graphic recording of metal, stone, glass, and bone artifacts.

The database
During a campaign, hundreds of thousands of small finds are registered on a daily basis. This recording is only possible thanks to the enthusiasm of our depot managers, for the moment composed of computing engineer and archaeology graduate student Bram Ottoy (KULeuven) and of archaeologist Luca Ponzetta. They see to it that all finds are entered into our database, so that at any moment one can check if an object is actually stored (number of depot, number of raft, number of shelf, number of box), or if it is still with the washing team, the conservation team, or the illustrators.

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