Research Grant of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO)

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The Sagalassos Project has been awarded a research grant by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) for a research project entitled “Votive offering in Pisidia (SW Turkey). The material and social aspects of a popular religious practice at a cult site near the ancient city of Sagalassos”.

Votive offering - presenting gifts to the gods in exchange for divine protection or blessing - was one of the most important ritual activities in antiquity, practiced by all levels of society. A whole variety of objects could be presented to deities, depending on the economic and social status of the votary (Fig. 1-3). By analysing the material manifestation of cultic rituals from a recently excavated rock sanctuary in the periphery of the city of Sagalassos (Fig. 4), the proposed project aims to establish the origins and types of votive offerings used by the local community. In this manner it intends to shed light on the nature of the cultic rituals taking place at the sanctuary and their evolution through time from the 2nd century BCE until the 3rd century CE. Furthermore, it also want to approach the social identity and gender of the votaries in order to determine the specific functions of this special purpose site and the social groups it was serving. The first of these objectives will be achieved by establishing the typology and chronology of the different material categories represented at the site as well as subjecting these to archaeometric and contextual analysis. The second goal will be reached by defining certain types within the assemblage of artefacts as socio-economic and gender identifiers through comparative research of the material residue of other ritual activities, such as funerary rituals, in the wider region of Pisidia.