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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
The Hadrianic nymphaeum toward the end of the week
The Apollo Klarios statue's giant right foot

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

Hadrianic Nymphaeum: August 1-5, 2004

In the beginning of the week, the archaeological team exposing the Hadrianic Nymphaeum on the terrace above the Lower Agora unearthed the central part of the staircase. This staircase leads up to the water basin of the Hadrianic fountain. Below the steps, we discovered an intact drain that probably led the excess water from the fountain to a lower level of the Lower Agora in the direction of the Trajanic-Severan nymphaea at the agora's northern edge. This drain was about 0.65 m wide and at least 0.50 m high, but it was partly filled with earth obscuring its original depth. We also excavated part of the road pavement south of the Hadrianic fountain. On top of this, we found road slabs and a large stone with an inscription. The stone had clearly been recycled, as iron hoisting-piece holes and dowel holes now run through its front with the inscription, which consists of 11-cm-high characters mentioning Poseidona or Poseidoni. Although this front is not divided into the usual stepped subdivisions of an architrave (fasciae), it clearly must have served as one such subdivision. In fact, its smooth lower part carries a very plain, simple and small soffit (rectangular field in the middle), showing that originally it was supported by two columns. We wonder whether or not the very plain architecture identifies the block as a building element of the very smooth Trajanic nymphaeum on the Lower Agora that was reused in late antiquity when the former had already been dismantled for the construction of the Severan fountain in front of it.

Over the following days, we removed more debris from inside the water basin of the fountain, which resulted in the discovery of many fragments belonging to sculptures that were exposed earlier this season (see Sculptural Studies, July 25-29). Some of these pieces appeared to belong to the colossal female head that we unearthed in the water basin last year. Eventually, it became clear that all these statuary fragments were part of a colossal head of the goddess Demeter (see Sculptural Studies, August 1-5). Other colossal fragments belonged to the huge Apollo Klarios statue, among others the lower part of his separate head, with the cone-shaped extremity which fitted into the body, parts of his drapery, and his right foot. Thus, we were able to fit the statue together by the end of the week (see Sculptural Studies, August 1-5). We also unearthed another statue fragment of a female head, measuring about 0.30 m by 0.25 m. Judging by its hairstyle, it dates to the Hadrianic period. A little more to the west (but again in the water basin of the Hadrianic nymphaeum) we found a white marble bull's head. In front of the collapsed lateral west wing, the middle section of a naked youth of rather small dimensions was discovered among earthquake debris. One of the column parts lying in the water basin of the fountain carried a series of graffiti dating to the Early-Byzantine period. The graffiti provided that the fountain still stood upright then.

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