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View of the southeast corner of frigidarium 1, where the colossal head of Hadrian was found in the upper right corner

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

Hadrian Hits the Road Again

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The colossal head of Hadrian found at Sagalassos in 2007

The most sensational find ever made at Sagalassos undoubtedly was the discovery of parts of a colossal (ca. 5 m. tall) portrait statue of the emperor Hadrian, made during the early years of his reign. Found in the southeast corner of the south six-piered hall of frigidarium1 in the Roman Baths, it made headlines all over the world.

Hadrian was famous for his travels, which took him from the U.K. to Egypt and brought him several times to Pamphylia (just south of Pisidia). As described in the website of last year (2007) his role in attributing privileges to Sagalassos (center of the Pisidian Imperial cult; granting the city the title of "first city of Pisidia") explains the size of the statue as well as the fact that he also was honoured with a new temple (only completed under Antoninus Pius) and with a late Hadrianic nymphaeum containing a gilded bronze statue in its upper floor.

Now "our" Hadrian is travelling again, this time to the British Museum at London, where he will be the centerpiece of the exhibition Hadrian: Empire and Conflict running at the museum from July 24 until October 28 of 2008.

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