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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
General view of the main urban area surveyed last week
A well-preserved vase-shaped osteotheca dating to the Early Imperial period
Survey zone near the western domestic area street, the "Road Area"

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

Urban Survey: August 14-18, 2005

The urban survey team, supervised by Femke Martens (KU Leuven), assisted by archaeologists Ben Rubin (Ann Arbor, Michigan), Pieterjan Deckers, Nele Goeminne, Lies Vercauteren, Kim Quintelier (all KULeuven) and archaeology students Marc D'Haese, Marie Lefere, Sarah Linten, Marc Mechelmans, Kim Vyncke (all KULeuven) and Sevgi Gerçek (Istanbul University completed their one week of field survey. In all, 1.24 hectares were covered (31 sectors) with an intensive collection strategy (since the 2001 campaign the same field technique has been used based on 20 by 20 m squares). Five persons walk, 2 m apart, in an east-west direction and each time returning 2 m to the south in the opposite direction, systematically covering each square. Every meter the visibility and density of all finds are assessed and counted and noted on standardized forms. A sixth person registers all finds. This year's survey again worked with two teams. All architectural remains were photographed and mapped. Analyses of the spatial distribution of the finds to deduce chronological and functional patterns will be made by processing the data in the desktop mapping program MAPINFO 5.5. However, some preliminary observations can already be made.

This year's urban survey has two main targets. One the one hand, it is our intention to further expand the area covered with the intensive surface survey approach enclosed by the necropolis toward the southwest, in order to establish the chronology and the functional character of this area. On the other hand, we wish to continue the pottery studies initiated last year, whereby survey pottery was both dated and identified according to functionality, to further refine the picture of the functional organization of the Sagalassos urban area. The main area surveyed this week was located to the south of late Roman fortification wall in an area where the supposed southwestern access road to the town passed by. The surveyed squares proper connected the so-called "Road Area" surveyed in 2000 to the northwest and an area surveyed in 2002 to the southeast, at the foot of the southern necropolis of Sagalassos. This year's area seems to have many features in common with the 2000 area, where dense concentrations of industrial waste were found, both related to road metalling (making roads with iron slag substrata) as well as to actual metalworking activity. Chronologically, the pottery collected in the 2000 area could be dated from late Hellenistic times into the sixth century A.D. Next week's pottery processing should reveal the chronology of the newly collected pottery.

At first sight, a comparable functional use of this area may be proposed. The collected finds mainly consist of pottery, sometimes with considerable amounts of misfired tile (up to 50 pieces per square) and slag finds (up to 53 pieces per square). These slags will be studied to identify from which phase of the metalworking process they originate. In addition, in the sectors with high slag densities soil samples were taken for chemical analysis. These analyses should indicate whether these waste products were reused for purposes such as terracing or road metalling, or whether actual metalworking activities took place here. The presence of sepulchral evidence in this year's main area complied with the functional identification of the 2000 "Road Area" as well. Apart from bottoms or troughs and lids of sarcophagi we also found some well-reserved fragments of "vase-shaped" osteothecae, which are typical for the Early Imperial period.

In addition to the survey of this main area, the team also covered five squares on the ruins of the church of the western domestic area, which was cleaned and studied in the first half of this campaign (see Architectural Survey, July 10-14) and part of the supposed west-east access road to the monumental city center. Both areas had been cleared from vegetation for geophysical survey, thus creating a favorable surface condition for intensive archaeological finds collection. The comparison of the results of both types of survey for this area hopefully will add to the interpretation of the track and the chronology of use of this road and its adjoining structures.

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