Western residential area

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To the east and west of the monumental centre of Sagalassos the urban survey by F. Martens identified residential zones with a maximal extent of 23.5 hectares. As it was enclosed by the Hellenistic town wall, the western residential area must have formed the original domestic zone of Sagalassos, which expanded from early Imperial times onward outside of the walled area in eastern direction, while the eastern slope of the town may have been a residential area only from early Imperial times onward, when the town expanded to the east outside the fortified area. The western residential zone was covered by intensive survey during the 2001 and 2003 campaigns, which offered an insight into the functional organization of the area and allowed to register the surface architecture, suggesting the presence of high status houses built in ashlar architecture (with window panes, marble veneering and mosaic floors). Some houses were (partially) cut in the bedrock. As is typical for residential quarters various urban functions were represented. Architectural evidence was found for monumental buildings among the houses, including an Early Imperial building (shrine?) of which the blocks were reused in an Early Byzantine church and an Early Byzantine district church. In addition also commercial as well as small-scale artisanal activities may be expected. As opposed to the eastern residential area, the terrain of the western domestic zone was heavily terraced. The planning of the area seemed primarily directed by the topographical situation and the housing blocks seemed to have been preferably built perpendicular to the contour lines and terraces. In the northern half of this area the wall structures show an almost perfect N-S/E-W orientation, whereas the buildings halfway the slope followed the orientation of the terraces in this area and thus deviated from the orientation of the buildings higher up the slope.

To reconstruct its planning and chronological development, the western domestic area is now investigated with geophysical techniques by the team of B. Mušič (Department of Archaeology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia) in collaboration with F. Martens and I. Uytterhoeven. Using this information and the evidence from the surface survey small test excavations will be conducted to obtain insight into the character of the evidence and the chronology of the detected houses.