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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
One of the modern quarries near Duger, where the "antique white" is currently being exploited

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

Geological Survey: July 25-29, 2004

Ph.Muchez and P. Degryse continued their study of the building stones used at Sagalassos. Different types have previously been macroscopically and petrographically characterized in the city's monumental structures, and they include marble, limestone, conglomerate, breccias, travertine, granite, and sand-to-siltstone of different qualities. Most come from local lithological units, both in the immediate area of the city and in its territory, but some (marble and granite) were clearly imported from considerable distances. Throughout the history of the city, beige and pink good quality limestone was the most important building stone. However, for carving fine architectural decoration and to obtain polychromatic effects in buildings, a high quality recrystallized white limestone was used. This type of limestone, nearly marble, was imported to the city, presumably from the area south of the city of Burdur, still within the territory of ancient Sagalassos. Also, stable isotopic analysis (carbon and oxygen) has shown that much of the good quality beige and pink limestone did not originate from the ancient quarries in the immediate vicinity of the center of Sagalassos. This week, the geological team surveyed in hopes of finding the ancient area of extraction for the white recrystallized and beige and pink limestone. Near Duger, Yarisli, and Hacilar, south of the city of Burdur, along the east-southeast bank of Lake Burdur, they sampled outcrops and modern quarries. Surprisingly, the recrystallized limestone bears the local commercial name "antique white." The samples will be analyzed petrographically and geochemically (stable isotopes) to evaluate this area as a possible source area for the stones used at Sagalassos.

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