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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos

Magnetogram showing the residental area (west from the theater) and the Potters' Quarter (east from the theatre). Area 1 and area 2 were resurveyed by georadar for addtional information about depth and level of preservation of architectural remains.

GPR "time slices" of area 2 east of the theater (Potters' Quarter). It shows how the magnetic and georadar methods are complementary. On the magnetogram kilns are easily discernable, while on radargrams architectural remains of artisanal workshops are better represented. Streets are clearly visible in both methods but only from the georadar profiles one can see that they are not paved with stone slabs.
GPR "time slices" of area 1 west from the theater (Residental area). Plan views of georadar echoes at several depths revealed an incredibly clear image of underground, allowing to distinguish different building phases.

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

Geophysical Survey: July 31-August 4, 2005

During last week, the magnetic prospection of the Potters' Quarter was finally completed. An impressive magnetogram (based on 1,791,005 readings of the total magnetic field density) now gives a detailed insight into the ancient organization of that artisanal district of Sagalassos. More than 70 well-preserved kilns can be clearly seen. Excavations in 2004 yielded, in addition to six well-preserved kilns, two almost completely demolished kilns that were still visible on the magnetogram as much weaker anomalies. These results can be used for a detailed interpretation of the whole prospected area to provide a more realistic estimate of the number of kilns. Several linear anomalies reflect a contrast in magnetic susceptibility between non-magnetic architectural remains made of limestone and strongly magnetic soil. In archaeological terms, these anomalies can be subdivided into streets, water channels, distinct buildings, workshops, and ditches. Data needed for visualising the whole infrastructure system should contain also additional information such as depth, level of preservation, and detailed plan views of architectural remains. In general, this information can be provided by the complementary magnetic and georadar methods.

The field strategy of the georadar prospection has been designed as is normally the case for more favorable circumstances in levelled areas without large stone blocks at the surface. GPR measurements were carried out in the parallel profiles 1 m apart. Only in this way, is it possible to produce "time slices"--plan views at several depths. On the georadar plan views of Area 2 in the Potters' Quarter, streets and architectural remains of workshops that were not visible on the magnetogram can be clearly distinguished. Internally, several walls preserved to a height over 1 m subdivide the workshop in Area 2. On the basis of georadar scanning it can also be stated that the streets beside the workshop were not paved with stone slabs. A second area used as an example of GPR results is located in the residential area near the theater (Area 1). The quality of these results is really something we couldn't expect while designing the field strategy. Even in much better conditions, these results would be evaluated as exceptional. Part of them corresponds to magnetic anomalies produced by walls made of limestone and other parts differ from them. Especially in the western part of the surveyed area, where almost nothing is visible on the magnetogram, the GPR results are very clear and contribute significantly to the interpretation of architectural remains, which are preserved at least to the height of 2.5 m. It can thus be concluded that GPR research represents a very important and at some points even crucial contribution for reconstructing architectural remains at the Potters' Quarter and in the residential area, but also for the visualization of the urban system at large. One of the nicest things is that structures covered by later building activities can still be recognized.

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