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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
The circuit wall with transversal supports surrounding the eastern section of Tepe Duzen
The survey team at Tepe Duzen. In the background is Sagalassos: behind the surveyors the conical Alexander's Hill is clearly visible. Above it on the left, is the white spot which is the Heroon, in the center is the Neon Library, and to the right are the walls of the theater.
The team starts the hazardous trip down the Zencirlik Tepe

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

Suburban Survey: July 24-28, 2005

This week, the suburban survey team led by Hannelore Vanhaverbeke, but now joined by Kim Quintelier, Pieter-Jan Deckers, Marie Lefere (all KULeuven), and by Sevgi Gercek started working on the Tepe Duzen plateau between the villages of Baskoy and Aglasun, ca. 1.5 km southwest of Sagalassos. In 1994, a reconnaissance survey collected some coarse pottery here, which was definitely not Roman in date. At that time some fieldstone structures were noticed as well.

Setting out a grid of 50 by 50 m sectors was quite easy since the area is very flat (hence the toponym "flat hill") and vegetation is sparse. Today, the area is used for herding flocks; only the slopes of the Zencirli Tepe, the mountain bordering the plateau to its north, are cultivated. No freshwater sources are present. Nine hectares were surveyed this week, and it quickly became clear that the plateau's whole eastern part was littered with concentrations of pottery and remains of numerous megaron like buildings made of fieldstones. Most consist of two rooms, one small and one large, and measure ca. 7 by 16 m. In the southern half of the plateau a larger building (ca. 25 by 8 m), of at least three rooms, was found. One square structure of 9 by 9 m constructed in emplekton was located centrally in the eastern half of Tepe Duzen. Bordering the plateau's eastern edge is a ca. 2 m wide fieldstone rubble wall that runs for at least 100 m. At regular intervals transverse wall sections support it. All of the pottery is wheel made, coarse to very coarse, and only exceptionally did we find Sagalassos red-slip ware. No glazed wares have been encountered, and brick and tiles are virtually absent. This leads us to assume that we have here an early occupation, preceding the main one at Sagalassos and probably going back to the Archaic to Classical period at the latest. One sherd of a small Attic black-glossed, closed vessel clearly points in the same direction. The type of megaron type structures can be found in Anatolia from the Bronze Age to the eight/seventh century B.C. The site's pottery will be studied in detail in the last weeks of the campaign.

The survey team also ventured the arduous climb (and more arduous descent) of Zencirli Tepe (1,660 m a.s.l.). Our original aim was to have a good vantage point from which to photograph the Duzen plateau. However, upon approaching the mountaintop we noticed the remains of a large, fieldstone wall encircling most of the peak. On the crest of the Zencirli Tepe, we noticed at least three towers(?) of ca. 2 by 3 m, one of which had been interpreted by earlier researchers as a Hellenistic watchtower. However the construction of the walls of these "towers" in dry fieldstone, without ashlar or emplekton technique, leads us to suggest a much earlier date. There was virtually no pottery, indicating only occasional use or a thorough "cleaning up" of the area after occupation. At the same time, the mountaintop offers magnificent views of the surrounding areas and approaches. From these observations, we are tempted to interpret this area, the Zencirli Tepe along with the structures on the Tepe Duzen, as one settlement, consisting of a fortified refuge place (the very small amount of pottery seems rather indicative of this) and a "lower town" on the plateau. Pottery analysis will have to confirm whether or not this settlement is pre-Hellenistic. At the moment it is more than tempting to recognize here the Early Iron Age (or even Late Bronze Age) predecessor of Sagalassos, perhaps to be identified with the Salawassa of Hittite sources. Lack of water may have convinced the occupants to eventually remove to the current site, where no such old material has ever been recovered thus far, because of the abundance of water there. If that were the case, this would be the REAL FIND OF THE WEEK.

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