The late antique fortifications

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The Hellenistic walls of Sagalassos were partially dismantled during the Roman period, so that the largest part visible today was the result of a late antique reconstruction. The new wall largely followed the older circuit. Because the town had since then extended far beyond these borders, it did not enclose the entire inhabited area, but mainly the monumental core. The wall is assumed to have been built in reaction to the threat posed by the tribes living in the nearby province of Isauria, who ravished Pisidia between AD 404 and AD 406.

The late wall sections consisted of two casings with a mortared rubble fill. They could be distinguished from the older remnants due to the large presence of reused material, whereas also older terrace walls and sometimes even complete buildings were incorporated. In addition, sections of the Hellenistic wall must have been repaired and probably at some locations also partially re-erected. The irregular circuit of the Late Roman wall was reconstructed by connecting standing wall sections.

To the east of Basilica E, the wall ascends along a slope towards the Doric Temple and the Northwest Heroon, both incorporated into the Late Roman circuit. Northeast of the Heroon the wall runs further to the east over a distance of 110 m to the north of the Upper Agora and turns to the south. Immediately south of this turn two towers were located, which protected an entrance gate (the Northeast Gate) to the city. The wall further descends to the south towards the northeast corner of the Roman bath building. It follows the eastern edge of the baths and ca. 15 to the southeast of it, it turns again to the west, towards the Colonnaded Street. In the lower part of the city, the exact course of the wall is not well known. Whereas in the past, it was though that the fortifications encircling the promontory with the Temple of Hadrian and Antoninus Pius belonged to the late antique circuit, recent excavations suggest they belong to a younger fortification phase. The late antique wall could again be recognised to the west of the Colonnaded Street. It there descended into the valley and eventually turned north, in the direction of Basilica E1.

The main gate into the city centre was most likely situated to the south of the city centre, where it spanned the North-South Colonnaded Street, but remains could not yet be located. The upper town was reachable both from the east, through the unexcavated Northeast Gate and the west, through the Northwest Gate. This last was a simple but moderately impressing structure. It was protected by two towers, being the converted Doric Temple to its south and the Northwest Heroon to the north. The gate passage could be closed by two doors, which were probably suspended in a wooden frame and could be barricaded with a wooden bar. The superstructure of this passageway was composed of an arch, of which the central keystone depicted an unfinished relief of an eagle holding a snake. In the debris just next to the gate, inside the gate proper, several weaponry reliefs were found face up, alongside busts of Ares and Athena, all originating from the façade of the nearby Bouleuterion. While the weaponry friezes must have adorned the outer face of the walls on either side of the gate, the finding spot of the gods indicate they were reused in the gate itself. Though Sagalassos by this time was no doubt largely a Christian town, the inclusion of these warrior gods fits nicely with the ancient reputation of the Pisidians as a warlike people.