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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
The palatial mansion towards the beginning of the fifth week. On the left, the excavation in Room 46
The imposing Room 46 (people inside), seen from the atrium toward the end of the week

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

Domestic Area: August 6-10

During the fifth week of the campaign, excavations at the Domestic Area under the direction of Inge Uytterhoeven, Rob Rens (both K.U.Leuven), and Sevgi Gerçek (Istanbul Üniversitesi) were dedicated to the large hall (Room 46), below the completely collapsed main reception hall, the apsidal room 50, which this year is under investigation in the northeastern, "representative" part of the late antique palatial mansion (see Domestic Area: July 30-August 3, 2006). The entire week, this team removed layer 5, full of collapsed material. Apart from many roof tiles (tegulae or flat tiles and Laconian imbrices, this means curved tile covering the joint between two flat tiles) this layer contained many regularly cut tuff blocks, which once had formed the vault of Room 46 (average dimensions: 0.35 by 0.25 by 0.14 m) and bag after bag of colored tesserae of the mosaic floor originally covering the floor of apsidal Room 50at the uppermost level (see Domestic Area: July 30-August 3, 2006) In this way, we further exposed the walls of Room 46, which becomes more impressive every day. With still another ca. 1.20 m soil to remove during the next weeks, the east wall of the room is now standing 5.20 m high. Against the inside of this wall another wall, 0.65m wide, was exposed. Atop the latter, the function of which is not yet clear, several crustae in green, red, yellow and white, among which a piece of cipollino marble (the white-green veined marble from Karystos on the Greek island of Euboia, were found. Together with the small holes in which originally metal clamps were placed for the attachment of crustae, that are becoming visible in the south wall of the room, these marble pieces prove that the walls of Room 46 with its vault (ca. 6.30 m high) was once richly decorated with expensive marble decoration. A more representative function than an archive, as we assumed a few weeks ago, is imposing itself.

[image] The lower, 0.65 m projecting east (or back) wall of Room 46

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