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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
The Upper Agora after earlier excavations
Overview of activities on the Upper Agora

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

The Northeast Corner of the Upper Agora


In 2001, we completed excavation--as far as is possible--of the street giving access to the Upper Agora from its northeast corner. This colonnaded street will be used in the future bring visitors to the Upper Agora through its original entrances. Last year, we began digging in the Northeast Building, a row of shops accessible from this street on the south. In origin, the Northeast Building can be related to the layout of the Upper Agora in Augustan times, but its existing northern facade was laid out in the sixth century A.D., after the earthquake around 500. Stratigraphical analysis indicates that the building may have seen further, substantial damage from the mid-seventh century earthquake. It may have seen a final (short-lived ?) attempt at reconstruction, after which it was gradually abandoned.

Aims of the 2003 excavations

During the 2003 season, we intend to continue excavating inside this building, toward the northeast, in order to:

  • Establish its original nature and construction date. The building could have been a kind of archive, a stoa-like structure, or even a public fountain.

  • Find more inscription fragments of the supposedly "royal" letter, of which two pieces were discovered in the past. Since the latter is still incomplete and since the two preserved fragments had clearly been built into the late Roman structure, it is likely that other fragments might be found inside the Northeast Building.

  • Document the later chronological and functional changes to the Northeast Building, up to its final, seventh century occupation.

  • Determine if this structure may still have known some kind of occupation after the mid-seventh century earthquake that leveled the city, after which it seems to have been abandoned by most of its inhabitants.

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