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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
The northern edge of the Roman Baths towards the end of the fourth week of excavations
The brick walled niche and the southern row of ashlar piers in the northeast room of the baths
Roman Baths team 1 exposes the north wall of a new room. The partially excavated apodyterium is in the foreground.

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

The Roman Baths: July 27-August 2, 2003

We continued excavations in the northern part of the huge bath complex, which now seems to have been at least 75 m (west to east) by 77 m (north to south). The east side of the building seems to have contained a large frigidarium (at least 15 by 25 m), the roof of which rested on four massive ashlar piers, while on either side of it (north and south) there were two symmetrically arranged rooms (at least 17 m by 17.5 m each) with six smaller ashlar piers.

The first team further exposed the southern row of these piers in the northern room. The southernmost pillar seems to have been connected to the large curved brick walled niche discovered last year (see introduction). Some of the ashlar piers still had wall plaster attached to them, which may extend as far as the floor level, thus covering a height of at least four meters. Around these piers we also discovered concentrations of marble revetment slabs. We removed nearly one meter of debris from over the entire excavation area--in line with our goal of reaching the floor level by the season's end. A very peculiar find was the discovery of a Late Palaeolithic to Neolithic chipped stone tool that must have been mixed in the mortar of the room's concrete vault.

The second team, working in the western section along the baths' northern edge, continued its activities according to schedule, systematically going down in terraces to reach the floor, which is still several meters below the level. Last week (see Roman Baths, July 20-26) we had exposed the western wall of both the private (?) section of caldarium II and of its adjoining apodyterium. Toward the end of this week, we uncovered the northern wall of a large room (nearly 14 m x 10 m) between caldarium II and its apodyterium on the west and the room with the curved niche and ashlar piers excavated by the first team on the east. It is made of mortared rubble and brick layers and nearly 1.35 m wide. Over a length of 4.4 m this wall, which must have been nearly 14 m long, is still preserved to a height of 4.70 m above the room's presumed floor level. To the north of it, a large fragment of an andesite gutter from the building's roof was found. On the whole, the team this week removed 83 cubic meters of debris.

The northern half of the Roman Baths thus seems to have been composed, from west to east of a tepidarium attached to caldarium I, a possibly open shaft linking the building's different floor levels (see introduction), an apodyterium and a private room both connected with caldarium II farther south, the new room discovered this week, the room with the curved brick wall niche, and the northern room with six ashlar piers. It is important however to notice, that except for the tepidarium located in the complex's northwest corner, all these rooms are still preceded by other spaces farther north.

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