Upper Agora

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Introduction

Last year, the focus of excavations on the Upper Agora of Sagalassos was moved from the west portico - which was already largely uncovered by the year 2000 and underwent further research during the campaigns of 2008, 2009 and 2010 -, to the south side of the same square. This was the location of a sizeable building (ca. 30 by 16 m) with unknown function, fronted by a portico composed of pedestal bases with unfluted columns on top. Excavations concentrated on the remains behind this portico. Traces of Roman and Early Byzantine occupation were discovered, but the extent or the function of these older phases remained unclear, as they were seriously disturbed by later occupation. The structures to the south of the Upper Agora seemingly went out of use in the early 7th century AD. After a millennium or more of non-occupation, the area was reoccupied. At this moment in time, the south side of the city square was occupied by a large, shabbily constructed building, which could be divided into multiple units each consisting of several rooms. The most eastern unit was still accessible from the side of the agora, the second unit excavated had a large entrance facing the slope. The finds left upon abandonment, including a large iron steelyard, a saw, a bronze, gilded belt tongue, a closure-lid of a stove that was machine-made, but also a mill stone and a large quantity of dolia, suggest that this building not only held a residential function, but also served as depot and maybe even was a commercial focus.

Aims for the 2012 campaign

The aims for following campaign are threefold.

  • First of all, we wish to continue excavating in the area partially dug last year. As, due to time constraints, often only the highest floor level was reached, the chronological relations between the walls and floors and levelling fills still need to be clarified. Further research should enable us to distinguish the separate Roman, Late Roman, Early Byzantine and modern phases of occupation in this area.
  • Second, we wish to extend the area of excavation into the portico fronting the building to the north and by means of soundings further examine the separate fills underneath the latest floorlevel. One of these fills carries the youngest water supply to the fountain inside the Macellum, but it is feasible that we will also encounter remains of an older water supply.
  • Thirdly, the excavation area will be extended in western direction, as, until now, only the eastern third of the building has been touched. We hope to unearth the entire complex in the course of the following years.