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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
The eastern curved niche with its cipollino veneer continuing behind the support pier, added later. In front are the marble floor slabs.
The marble base for a bronze statue found in front of the curved eastern recess
The benches and the opus sectile floor in the western part of the apodyterium

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

The Roman Baths: August 17-23, 2003

Roman Baths team 1 continued its efforts to reach the floor level in the eastern part of the apodyterium along the bath complex's north wall (see August 10-16). They have unearthed a five-meter curved niche made of brick in the room's east wall. A veneer of green Carystian marble (cipollino from the island of Euboia, Greece) was still in place in several parts of the niche, and fragments of Docimian white and pavonazetto (purple veined) marble were also found. It's the first time such large quantities of non-Anatolian marble have been exposed at Sagalassos. We exposed about one square meter of floor made of white marble slabs in the niche, though further excavation showed that the marble floor ended rather abruptly. The reason for this is unclear, and we hope to uncover about 60 square meters of the floor next week.

We think this part of the room contained niches filled with statuary. We discovered the upper part of the legs of the smaller statue found last week (see August 10-16), as well as a marble base for a bronze statue. In the room east of the apodyterium, we recovered a fragment that probably belongs to a giant Medusa head.

In the western part of the same apodyterium, Roman Baths team 2 removed a layer of plaster and mortar covering the room's floor. They found several crustae fragments with drawings and 28 fragments with remains of a 16-line inscription in the area adjoining the south wall of the larger apodyterium. There were also many metal, glass, and stucco finds, as well as three more Corinthian pilaster capitals. Wall plaster and mosaic from the upper part of the walls and from the vault created a protective layer on the floor over a surface of nearly 37 square meters. Well-preserved opus sectile panels were unearthed towards the east. Their geometrical designs are made of octagonals, hexagonals, diamonds, triangles, and squares arranged in various patterns. Large marble slabs covered the floor in between these panels and the part that was destroyed. Towards the east, the whole arrangement seems to be in an excellent state of preservation. The benches also continue along the walls of the room, though they are less well preserved than those from the rectangular niche exposed last week.

We've found that a brick water channel unearthed last year in the small western extension of the apodyterium continues along the south wall of the larger room. One branch continues through the wall, separating it from the private part of caldarium II (see August 10-16). Some parts of this channel are still covered with the original brick tiles, but another section contains only the mortar impression of the channel. Its contents were sampled for flotation.

Our discovery of a marble statue fragment (a stem or branch surrounded by a crawling snake) along the north wall of the western part of the room shows that this area was also richly decorated with statuary.

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