The Sagalassos Project

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Sagalassos is an impressive archaeological site set in a magnificent mountain landscape, 7 km to the north of the nearest town of Ağlasun (province of Burdur, SW Turkey). The archaeological remains are spread along the south facing terraces of the mountain slopes.

The Sagalassos Archaeological Research Project not only unearths a site covered under erosion layers but it studies an uninterrupted occupation of more than 1000 years in all its aspects, from daily life, diet, religious beliefs, to architecture, production, trade and its mechanisms, as well as natural resources and environmental conditions of the past.

The ongoing interdisciplinary archaeological research programme of the University of Leuven is being conducted since 1990. The project emerged as a spin-off of the 'Pisidia Survey' and was conceived from the start to evaluate all feasible data in collaboration with other related disciplines, such as geology, geomorphology, geophysics, zoology, botany, ecology, anthropology etc. Recently social geography, planning and tourism studies have been included into the interdisciplinary structure. The site and the 1200 km² wide territory of ancient Sagalassos became the focus of intensive research, and at present the monumental centre of the town is for the large part unearthed and open to visitors.

Alongside the strong interdisciplinary approach, the conservation and anastylosis projects conducted on the site became 'trademarks' of the Sagalassos Project in archaeology. The anastylosis of the Late Hellenistic fountain house (1994-1997) and the shelter built for the Neon Library (1995-1997) were followed by the anastylosis projects of the Northwest Heroön (1998-2009), the Antonine Nymphaeum (1998-2010), the Arch of Claudius (2010-2013) and the Northeast Gate of the Upper Agora (2013-2014). The anastylosis of other monuments on the Upper Agora are going on since 2011. The northeast, northwest and southwest honorific columns at the three corners of the agora as well as the exedera of the east portico have already been completed. The anastylosis of the second Arch of Claudius marking the Southeast entrance to the Upper agora is planned for the years 2015-2016.

The scientific project conducted here is one of the University of Leuven in Belgium, initiated and directed by Em. Prof. Dr. Marc Waelkens in 1990 until his retirement in 2013. Since then the Sagalassos Project is directed by Prof. Dr. Jeroen Poblome, under the auspices of the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism. At its busiest years the project had about 90 team members during the summer campaigns, with more than half of the international team consisting of Turkish experts and students. Since 2014 we strive towards a smaller but equally efficient team. 50 to 90 workmen are employed every summer, all from the nearby town of Ağlasun. Our core workforce is made up of master workmen who specialised in excavation and conservation techniques for the last two decades.