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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
General view of the palatial mansion from the Roman Baths. The arched doorway from reception hall XXII to room XLIV is visible in the upper left corner of the complex.
View of room XLIV from the north with the bridge to remove the fill. The passage above is the only one connecting the room to reception hall XXII.

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

Domestic Area: July 25-29, 2004

This week, we continued excavation of the Domestic Area in room XLIV, located north of the late Roman reception hall (XXII) and only accessible from there, on the upper terrace of the palatial mansion (see plan). We removed almost the entire destruction layer, uncovering the main part of the walls. The east wall is now exposed more than 3.80 m. Like the others, it is extremely well preserved. According to Jan Elsen (KULeuven), who studies the mortars used at Sagalassos through time (see Survey, Geological, July 18-22), the mortar with which they are constructed is of the highest quality. The walls are all built of two bands of brick (consisting of five courses each) that alternate with mortared rubble. The indented corners of the room as well as the edges of the window above the arched door in the south wall, are built by lighter (and easier to carve) blocks of tuff (volcanic stone), except for the lowest part of the dented corners. In the southeast corner, for instance, a small osthoteca, a Hellenistic or Early Roman stone container for cremated human remains, was incorporated under the second band of bricks. By the time room XLIV was built, apparently the stone container was no longer a sacred object for the inhabitants. We have also excavated the entire high arched door to room XXII. Contrary to what was assumed previously, the room was not connected with room XXXI to the west; thus, the wide south passage was its only entrance. Some repaired cracks and irregularities in the south wall indicate that the latter had been repaired in Late Antiquity or in the Early Byzantine era (after the ca. A.D. 500 earthquake?). In later times (Early Byzantine), the west wall and part of the north wall were possibly dismantled. About 1.60 m of them is missing. Dismantling may have been done to obtain building materials (bricks and limestone, see Domestic Area, July 18-22) for use in another location, perhaps after the final abandonment of this part of the mansion. By then, the roof had probably collapsed. In fact, the lower part of the destruction material contained an enormous amount of both tile.

The lower part of the southeast indented corner of room XLIV with the reused ash urn (below, left)
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