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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
Opus Sectile floor I
Opus Sectile floor III
Opus Sectile floor II
verde antico
giallo antico
bianco and nero tigrato
Egyptianizing scene
Inscription poem

Photos courtesy Sagalassos Archaeological Research Project. Click on images to enlarge.
by Markku Corremans

Stone: August 28, 2008

The 4th c. AD opus sectile floor covering the Frigidarium II and the Apodyterium, which was excavated in 2004, was once again exposed during the first two weeks of the campaign. The aim of research was to determine the provenance of the stone types used. All polychrome marble floor panels have been exposed, while the white marble floor panels remained for the most part covered. In total, about half of the floor was uncovered. The main focus remained to analyse the polychrome geometric floor panels. Most of the material used for the refurbishment of the floor originates from Docimeoin, near modern day Işćehisar. The marbles from this quarrying site consist of pavonazetto, Afyon şeker, Afyon beyaz, Afyon gri, Afyon bal and kaplan postu. Also local pink limestone, local sandstone, rosso antico (Peleponessos, Greece), verde antico (Thessaly, Greece), cipollino (Euboia, Greece) and possibly white and grey Aphrodisian marble have been used to construct the floor. Other types remain yet to be identified.

From the third week work onwards until the end of the campaign the marble wall veneer from the Frigidarium II, the Apodyterium and the room to the south of the Apodyterium was analysed further on. The contexts from these rooms, which were sorted out last year, have been weighed for quantification. Also new contexts from the same rooms in the Roman Baths were analysed for their provenance. Besides, the processing of contexts from Caldarium I of the Roman bath building was started. Furthermore, the crustae and the sham architecture from Room 51 from the Domestic area were quantified fully. Finally, also certain contexts from the Neon-library were examined for their provenance.

As is also the case with the opus sectile floor of the Roman Baths, also the marble wall veneer from this building originates mostly from Dokimeion, while cipollino is the second most frequent stone type used for marble wall veneer in the Frigidarium II, the Apodyterium and the room to the south of the Apodyterium. Also local pink, beige and white limestone, local sandstone, local siltstone, alabaster (possibly Alabastro fiorito from Hierapolis), rosso antico, verde antico, porfido rosso (Eastern desert, Egypt), bianco e nero tigrato (Asia Minor), bigio antico (Asia Minor), broccatellone (Asia Minor, possibly Burdur travertine), granito del foro (Eastern desert, Egypt), rossa brecciato (West coast, Turkey), and possibly also giallo antico (Tunisia) and Aphrodisian grey and white marble have been found among these contexts, along with a number of unidentified stone types.

Peculiar finds for the Roman baths were fragments of Egyptianizing scenes and fragments of a Greek inscription, which has been identified by our epigraphy expert as belonging to a poem. Similar finds have been made in the same area as where the contexts come from, while excavating in 2003 and 2004. Once again also pieces from the dedicatory inscription in honour of Lucius Verus and Marcus Aurelius from the Kaisersaal, were recovered.

As to the Domestic area, we can say that the content of the marble veneer is similar to the Roman Baths. The material is very rich and diverse, with a remarkable presence of alabaster (again possibly Alabastro fiorito from Hierapolis) and kaplan postu.

For the Neon-library and Caldarium I of the Roman Baths, it is too early to draw conclusions, as not enough contexts have been processed yet.

Noteworthy finds from the contexts of the areas excavated this year were a piece of crusta in africano (Teos, Turkey) from a sondage near the theatre and a piece of porfido rosso originating from the Odeion.

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