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In 1993, in accordance with a request from the Anıtlar ve Müzeler Genel Müdürlüğü that the excavation teams would make an inventory of the cultural heritage in a large area around their sites, extensive survey campaigns were initiated on the territory of ancient Sagalassos in close collaboration with the Burdur Müzesi.
In general, archaeological survey activity in the territory of Sagalassos can be divided into three phases, each with their own aims and method.
Between 1993 and 1998, in response to the official Turkish request six seasons of ‘extensive survey’ were undertaken in the territory of Sagalassos with the principle aim to discover new sites,. During this phase of extensive surveying, each year a detailed list of all discoveries, including photographs and sketches, was sent to Ankara. The extensive survey phase resulted in the discovery of a total number of ca. 250 new sites and monuments ranging in date from prehistoric to Ottoman times within the 1200km² large territory of ancient Sagalassos. As a result of this survey, a number of sites was officially protected, while a number of valuable, removable artifacts were appropriated by the Burdur Müzesi.
However, very quickly we realized that both Sagalassos as well as the newly discovered sites needed to be studied in an interdisciplinary way. In order to get a detailed understanding of the relationship between human activity and the landscape several lines of investigation were incorporated in the research, including topics from other disciplines than archaeology alone. These studies include, among others, the investigation of the geology of the district to get an insight in e.g. the clay beds and minerals used in pottery production, the metal ore for metallurgy at Sagalassos, the quarries and building stones used in the building of Sagalassos, and the earthquake history of the district. Furthermore, attention is being paid to the geomorphology and landscape evolution of the territory (erosion, landslides) influencing the choice of location of sites. Other disciplines focus on climatic change, land use in ancient and modern times, animal breeding in ancient and modern times and subsistence studies (food habits).
After the last season of extensive survey was concluded in 1998, it was clear that our understanding of the city of Sagalassos would greatly benefit from a better knowledge of its immediate surroundings. The landscape and the people inhabiting it stood in a direct relationship to the city and vice versa. In order to get a detailed understanding of the vicinity of the city a second phase of ‘intensive survey’ was conducted within the two hour walking zone around Sagalassos. The Suburban Survey, as this intensive survey phase was called, was conducted during six seasons between 1999 and 2004 and resulted in a detailed understanding of human activity in the immediate surroundings of Sagalassos and the relationship between the two. From 2005 onwards, as part of this programme, survey activities, resulting in excavations (2006-2011) were focused on Düzen Tepe.
In 2008, a new phase of intensive survey campaigns was started that focuses on the periphery of the territory of Sagalassos. By means of an intensive survey the habitation dynamics and use of the landscape in these peripheral areas is investigated and compared to trends visible in and around Sagalassos itself.
The proposed archaeological fieldwork described in more detail in the next section is part of this intensive Territorial Archaeological Survey. The geological research on documenting human pollution and metal crafts in the vicinity of Sagalassos will continue in the 2012 campaign and its aims and methodology are presented below. The paleo-environmental research will continue and its new programme is also included in this application. The archaeozoologists will accompany the other disciplines in the field, joining their survey programme, whenever opportunities arise.
Survey teams will also continue collecting samples of soil, slag, stone, metal, metal ore and make drillings to study erosion and sedimentation layers in the cores. Like every year, samples that need to be taken to Belgium will be presented to the approval of an expert committee at the Museum of Burdur, appointed by the governor of Burdur. The MTA will be informed at the beginning and at the end of the works and a report of the activities will be presented to the MTA at the end of the works.
Since there will be only one temsilci for the survey, some survey activities cannot be undertaken simultaneously, although we try to do this as much as possible. However, as it is not always possible that each discipline works in the same area, most research topics will have to be carried out in a succession, following after one another. Therefore, the survey season will require 8 weeks (July 3rd – 31st of August).
The study of the habitation and landuse in the outer reaches
of the territory of Sagalassos
In 2008 a new programme of intensive archaeological surveys in the outer reaches of the ancient territory of Sagalassos was initiated, with the aim of understanding how peripheral areas evolved through time, before, during and after they were annexed by regional centres. During the fieldwork seasons of 2008 and 2009 the Bereket Valley and the region near the villages of Kayış, Akyayla, Bağsaray, Çeltikçi and Dağarcık have been investigated. In 2010 and 2011 the survey was focussed on the Burdur Plain.
I.b. Aims of the 2012 survey (Fig. 1)
In 2012 the survey will study selected areas within the Burdur Valley near the villages of Yazıköy, Yarıköy, Düğer, Karaçal, Hacılar and Soğanlı (cf. Fig. 1), in order to sketch the evolution of settlement and land use in these areas, from prehistory until recent times. In this area, previous extensive surveys have attested the presence of several sites, ranging from prehistoric höyüks to Ottoman houses. Although remains as early as the A-ceramic Neolithic and as late as the Ottoman period have been found in this area, the majority of identified sites stems from the Imperial period (20 sites; see also figure 1). Types of sites discovered include settlements, necropoleis, forts, remains of ancient roads, boundary stones and milestones, etc. The aim of the present survey will be to get a better understanding of the spatial context of these sites and their relationship with the landscape.
Two survey methods will be employed. In areas with good visibility, transects consisting of tracts of 50m length and one metre wide and placed 20m apart will be walked by a team of five to seven archaeologists. GPS will be used to set out the transects and plot all spatial data. In areas where visibility is less optimal (such as in forested environments), a less rigorous application of transects will be applied. Satellite pictures will be used in the field to guide the survey.
All archaeological artefacts will be collected for further analysis. Standing remains will be measured and photographed, and located by GPS. Soil samples will be taken to investigate the effect of settlement on the environment.
If worthwhile, the geophysical team might accompany the archeological survey to carry out geophysical research on the sites discovered in the survey.
After the main survey season, study activities will continue in the depots. As in past years, all inventory finds will be taken to the museum of Burdur and a selection of samples without any value (ceramics, metals, glass, etc.) that need further analysis in Belgium will be submitted to an expertise committee at the museum before the end of the survey season.
The archaeological field survey will take 4 weeks after which the material from this and previous years will be studied in the depots of the excavation house. If the discovered remains request further expert investigation it might be decided in concurrence with the temsilci to work together with the other disciplines participating in the survey fieldwork, i.e. the geomorphologists, geologists and geophysicists.
The palaeo-environmental research in Sagalassos concerns the influence of climate change and anthropogenic impact on vegetation, sediment chemistry and sediment dynamics for the late-Holocene period by means of palynological, geomorphological, geochemical and sedimentological analysis. The main archaeological purpose of this survey is the reconstruction of the landscape with which man interacted in historic times. In 2012 the palynological research will not be conducted. It will only be resumed in 2013 when a collaboration with a Turkish institution/lab will be established where samples can be studied within Turkey.
II.b. Aims (Fig. 2)
During previous field campaigns, different remote sensing surveys have been carried out and continuous sediment records spanning the last few thousand years have been collected at various locations in the territory of Sagalassos. With the campaign of 2012 we have set the following topics and aims:
II.b.1. A study of the sediment budget (erosion) and geochemical sediment fingerprinting in view of a reconstruction of farming activities and practices (aims 1-4)
- fill gaps in the sediment database collected in previous years to study the spatial and temporal variability in valley sedimentation. Main area of interest is the river Büğdüz valley and surroundings, as well as the Burdur plain. In the Büğdüz valley we will mainly concentrate on the areas around Bayındır and the marl badlands west of Büğdüz Köyü. This will document traces of ancient farming as shown by erosion due to deforestation and its impact on the landscape formation.
- make some additional cores in the Çanaklı-Hisar catchment to assess the sediment budget in the different sub-catchments in order to reconstruct man-caused erosion due to farming.
- sample valley and hill slope sediments as well as parent soil material for geochemical sediment fingerprinting analysis to document the sources of the sediment in the areas surrounding the study areas of the geomorphological survey stated in (1) and (2). This will help reconstructing the impact of deforestation and ancient farming (causing erosion) on the landscape.
- collect geomorphic data, mainly through geomorphic mapping, in the Duğer plain south of Lake Burdur.
II.b.2. The impact of human activity (aim 6)
- Iron mineralisations around Tekeli Tepe, Hisar and Dereköy, where many traces of ore extraction and metal working have been found, may be revisited, so that the provenance of iron ores used in the metallurgy at Sagalassos can be further studied (Fig. 2).
II.c. Description of activities
II.c.1. A study of the sediment budget (erosion) and geochemical sediment fingerprinting in view of a reconstruction of farming activities and practices (aims 1-4)
(Gert Verstraeten, Bert Dusar)
The main focus in 2012 will be to fill potential gaps of knowledge in our extensive sedimentation database. Sediment records studies in previous years are under analysis and based on the results of this analysis, some additional data may be required. In that case, it will be a continuation of previous field work in the region. Additional sediment cores will extend the data on the spatial and temporal variability in valley sedimentation rates in order to construct the sediment budget of the selected river catchments (Büğdüz Çayı, Burdur plain, Çanaklı). This will allow us defining the scope and the impact of ancient farming on the landscape formation throughout time. Sediment samples will be taken for grain size analysis as well as for dating the alluvial stratigraphy. This information is necessary for quantifying the sediment storage for different time periods. Valley and hill slope sediment samples as well as parent soil material samples will be taken for geochemical sediment fingerprinting analysis across the entire territory to document the sources of the sediment.
A more detailed description of what we intend to do is given below:
II.c.2. The impact of human activity (a.o. human pollution; metallurgy)
(Patrick Degryse, Katrijn Dirix, Bert Dusar)
This research aims to investigate the impact of ancient human activities on the soil chemistry at selected archaeological sites within the territory of Sagalassos. Around Tekeli Tepe, Hisar and Dereköy, when ore quarrying sites and/or metal working sites are discovered, soil samples, the traces of ores, metal working slags and bloom will be sampled. Around Tekeli Tepe, Hisar and Dereköy, where past surveys identified traces of iron extraction or iron working, the whole area around these sites will be submitted to a more detailed survey. Whenever new ore mining sites and/or metal working sites are discovered, soil samples, the traces of ores, metal working slags and bloom will be sampled.
Geomorphological, ecological and landscape observations will be made during field walking using notebook, camera, drawing instruments, compass, and binocular. Sediment samples will be collected with an Eijkelkamp percussion drill, for compacted sediments, a Dachnowsky sampler for soft sediments and the Edelman and Ramguts corers for sediments with intermediate characteristics; samples will subsequently be collected in plastic bags or in 1 m long PVC-tubes. Fluvial terraces and soil samples will also be collected using small shovels. Gravel deposits will be sieved in place and analysed in the excavation house. A selection of fluvial sediment samples will be collected for later analysis in the Leuven laboratories. The positions of all sampling will be measured using a GPS with differential correction (Trimble GeoXT). In order to correlate all sampling sites, the relative elevation of all coring sites in the valleys will be established by means of a level instrument.
If the discovered remains request further expert investigation it might be decided in concurrence with the temsilci that the different survey disciplines work together work together in the field, i.e. the geomorphologists, geologists, archaeologists and geophysicists.