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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
The newly discovered room parallel to the temenos wall of the sanctuary

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

Sanctuary of Hadrian and Antoninus Pius: August 22-26, 2004

The last excavations, which ended this week, were inside the Hadrian and Antoninus Pius Sanctuary. In order to document the early and middle Byzantine occupation of the promontory, the excavation continued in the second trench, immediately north of the temenos wall, which we uncovered over a length of ca. 1.50 m along the trench's southern edge. We also exposed its 1.04 m high foundation wall, composed of rubble stones. The latter proved to be built on top of weathered ophiolitic melange. Perpendicular to the sanctuary's outer wall, another wall was built of mortared rubble. This wall, of unknown width, was joined by a third wall. It runs parallel to the temenos wall and was again built on top of the ophiolitic bedrock. These three mortared-rubble walls thus form a narrow rectangular space or room along the temenos wall. The ceramic assemblage retrieved from the foundation trench of the third wall was provisionally dated to the late first-early second century A.D. It confirms what was established last year: there was already some monumental building activity on the promontory during the early Imperial period, shortly after the expansion of the city toward the South Gate (Field Notes 2003, Antoninus Pius Sanctuary, August 3-9). The lower deposits excavated on either side of the north wall of the room could be dated to the Middle Imperial period. However, the expected traces of ritual activity, such as we retrieved last year, were not present in this trench. Nor could any of the remains be linked to the function of the newly uncovered room laid out against the sanctuary's northern boundary wall. Contrary to the first trench, we didn't find any structural remains dating to the early Byzantine period in this trench. This suggests that any encroachment took place only within the former sanctuary. Some architectural and occupational debris, including ash layers, were dated to this period. Overlaying this dumped material was a mid-Byzantine floor substrate on top of which the dry-laid rubble wall reported last week was constructed.

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