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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
View of the northeastern representative section of the palatial mansion, with on the left, from top to bottom, the excavations of Rooms 52, 46, and 45
Below, in front, Atrium 45 as excavated in 2005. The monumental entrance with its symmetrically placed windows is clearly visible. In the upper left corner is the northern extension of the excavations in Room 45; in the background is the half-excavated Room 46.

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

Domestic Area: July 30-August 3

Under the direction of Inge Uytterhoeven and Rob Rens of K. U. Leuven and Sevgi Gerçek of Istanbul Üniversitesi, the Domestic Area team continued their work this week in the northern, representative wing of the mansion. As was planned last week, the on-site conservation team started to build a mortared rubble wall in the northeast corner of Room 46, in order to support the apsidal wall of the upper room. This room was probably the reception hall of the mansion (Room 50, see Domestic Area, July 10-27, 2006), and is in a bad state of preservation in this area. For that reason, the team continued to remove layer 4 in the central and western part of the room. This layer, full of large rubble blocks, is the result of the gradual collapse of the walls and the tuff vault of Room 46. In the central area of this room, there are two mosaic fragments: a smaller one (0.24 by 0.15 meters) and a larger one (1.10 by 1.00 meters). The larger fragment was a border fragment of a "rainbow style," dating to the fourth century A. D., composed of tesserae in six different colors--white, blue-black, purple, red, orange, and yellow. It features a guilloche motif which was also found on a large collapsed fragment we uncovered last year (see Domestic Area: August 14-18, 2005; On site conservation: August 7-18 and August 21-September 3, 2005). All of these fragments have fallen from the mosaic floor of Room 50 at the upper level and can thus be linked to the small fragment of this floor that we found in situ during the first week of this campaign (see Domestic Area, July 10-13, 2006).

[image] Left, the mosaic floor section of Room 52 found in Room 46, after its removal for conservation by the on-site team from Ankara. Right, the alternatively deep and shallow beam holes in the north wall of Room 46. [image]

While waiting for the conservation team to complete the supporting wall, the grid was extended toward the west with a new sector of 5 by 5 meters, to where we started excavating erosion layers 1 and 2 in the northeast corner of Atrium 45. The southern half of this atrium had already been excavated in 2005 (see Domestic Area, August 21-25, 2005). Last year, on the basis of the monumental door (width: 1.74 meters) leading to Room 46, which is flanked by two identical, symmetrically placed windows (width: 1.75 meters) in the east wall of Room 45, we assumed that Room 45 must have been a symmetrically constructed square room. However, during the recent exposure of the northern window it became clear that this wall continues in a northern direction and that Room 45 must have been a North-South oriented rectangular room, with a length of at least 10 meters and a width of 8 meters.

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