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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos

Geophysical map of the industrial area to the east of the theater. The rectangle indicates the area with the extremely strong magnetic anomalies.

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

Geophysical Survey: July 18-22, 2004

Branko Music and the Slovenian team finished their activities for this season in the middle of last week. Toward the end of their campaign, they discovered an area with an abnormally strong magnetism near the southeast corner of the industrial area we identified during the last weeks. Thick linear anomalies indicating well-preserved walls are clearly distinguishable. The average susceptibility can be estimated as three times greater than that of the kilns just excavated in the Potters' Quarter. The dimensions of the structure must be at least 30 m by 20 m. From the results of magnetic prospecting, there can be no doubt that this is a huge industrial structure because of its very strong, so called thermoremanent magnetisation, which is characteristic of brick remains. Surface finds are related to ceramic production (lots of kiln fragments) rather than blacksmith activities, as one might expect on the basis of magnetic results only. Because of the dimensions and the magnitude of the magnetic anomalies, one could perhaps assume that brick and/or tile were produced here, although the misfired elements at the surface do not seem to support this view. Yet, strong magnetic anomalies can be indicators of large buried brick/tile-kilns. Apparent magnetic susceptibility values of weathered ophiolites present all over the Potters' Quarter are too weak to generate magnetic anomalies comparable to these. The susceptibility of weathered ophiolites is even lower than the average susceptibility of the topsoil the same quarter. It's very important to know, for the reliability of our interpretation, that this was specifically checked because a test trench in the same area a few years ago apparently just missed the large structure and reached the so-called ophiolitic "mélange" at 0.30 m below the surface. It has also to be mentioned that high magnetic background noise can be observed for the wide area to the west of this structure. From a magnetic point of view it looks like a large dumping area for something else than pottery, which could correspond, however, with magnetic particles of brick and tile.

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