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July 2003-July 2010InteractiveDig Sagalassos
The Colonnaded Street
Plan of the Colonnaded Street

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

The North-South Colonnaded Street: Aims 2008

The North-South Colonnaded Street of Sagalassos is a 280m long, ca. 9m wide artery, with a strong gradient, in order to overcome the difference in height between its southern and northern ends. During the campaigns of 2005-2007, we excavated in the northernmost of its three sections, between the so-called Hellenistic South Gate and the Tiberian gateway of the Lower Agora, clearing the pavement and making soundings below the road surface. The portico and shops west of the street have been examined using smaller trenches, and test soundings underneath the pavement of the Lower Agora and the staircase of the Agora Gate were intended to further clarify the development of the lower city.

Some 90m to the south of the Lower Agora, the Colonnaded Street was flanked by two tower-like structures and a blockage wall on top of the Street, that belong to the later sixth or more likely, early seventh century. They therefore most likely postdate the earthquake that damaged large parts of the town. The shape and position of the structures indicate that they were defensive in nature and the fact that they protrude in the direction of the ancient city center of Sagalassos, along with some other indications, rather suggests that the city centre was from the seventh c. A.D. onward no longer located on the north, but to the south of the blocking wall, perhaps in the former sanctuary of the Imperial cult.

  1. As in previous years, excavations in the Colonnaded Street will be continued to the north, in order to provide more information on later phases of habitation. As the street is covered by a thicker layer of sediment compared to the already excavated southern part, and the lower sediments here are less disturbed, this offers the opportunity to record post-Roman walking levels and possibly a chance to establish a date for the abandonment of the street.

  2. The cleaning of the presumed Hellenistic monument to the west of the street should illuminate the date and function of this structure.

  3. The main center of attention will be at the southern end of the street section, where we suspect that the early medieval successor of Sagalassos was located. First, we wish to excavate the eastern and smallest of the two tower-like structures, to gain evidence of their construction and to allow us to verify their defensive character. We also want to expose the southern face of the blockage wall erected on top of the street, in order to compare it to its northern face. Finally, a cleaning of the area just to the south, west and east of the Fortification Gate should allow us to check whether or not Fortification Gate 1 was connected to the known fortification systems of Sagalassos (late third century B.C. and ca. A.D. 400), either that surrounding the town or that around the promontory with the Temple of Hadrian and Antoninus Pius (eighth-ninth century A.D.).
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