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ARCHAEOLOGY > Fourth pillar revealed at Sagalassos old city

BURDUR - Anadolu Agency

The fourth honorary pillarbelonging to the agora of Sagalassos has been discovered through the excavations. The pillar has special and unique features and dates back to the first century B.C.

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In each corner of Agora there are sculptures of people that build the agora. These pillars are constructed by the famous people of the city. AA photo

In each corner of Agora there are sculptures of people that build the agora. These pillars are constructed by the famous people of the city. AA photo

The latest excavations at the ancient city of Sagalassos, in the southwestern province of Burdur’s Ağlasun district, have uncovered the fourth “honorary pillar” of the city’s agora. “They started the 2013 excavation season two weeks ago and the hamam, city mansion, library and neighborhoods have been revealed,” said Sagalassos ancient city excavation vice president and architect Ebru Torun.

The president of the excavations, Professor Marc Waelkens, is from Belgium’s Leuven University. Waelkens’s team consists of 80 people. “There are many different people in the excavation team such as architects, archeologists, geophysicist and many more. These excavations address all kinds of sciences,” added Torun. There are scientists from Belgium, Turkish, Sri Lanka, US and Slovenia participating in excavation works.

The fourth pillar revealed

Torun said one of the most important developments of this year’s excavation was finding the fourth pillar of the agora. The pillar is 12 meters long and the sculpture part of the pillar has been unearthed. “We had found the other three honorary pillars before, now we are working on them to erect them. We were wondering about the fourth pillar and we have found it in a very good condition,” Torun explained.

The pillar has many special features and belongs to the first century B.C.. Noting that they had learnt the writings and the patterns on the pillar and their origin, Torun said, “In each corner of Agora there are sculptures of people that build the agora. This pillar is the fourth of them. These pillars are constructed by the famous people of the city.”

Torun also said that in 2010 the Antonin fountain was the most important find of Sagalasos and that they were currently working to reconstruct the agora a whole. “We want to finish the works in the north of the area and we want to finish the restoration of the agora next year,” added Torun.

Experts have also uncovered traces of Ottoman settlements at the Sagalassos ancient city, in the western town of Ağlasun.

Burdur Provincial Director of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Tanır said July 17 in a written statement that the interesting findings had revealed that the ancient city was abandoned after the 13th century. He said that during the excavations in the upper part of the old Ağlasun-Isparta highway structures, ceramics and metal tools from the Ottoman period had been found. “These findings show that settlement existed at Sagalassos in the Ottoman period and continued until the 18th century. This brings a new dimension to the ancient city.”

Sagalassos exhibition

In 2012, Brussels’ ancient city of Tongeren hosted an exhibition, “Sagalassos: City of Dreams.” The exhibition focused on the ancient life at Sagalassos and the also the heritage of the area.

Artifacts unearthed during excavations in the ancient city of Sagalassos are being exhibited at the Gallo-Roman Museum in Tongeren, the oldest city in Belgium.

There are a total of 238 works going on show in the exhibition.

The exhibition, titled “Sagalassos: City of Dreams,” will run until June 17.

There are very valuable pieces in the exhibition, such as sculptures of Emperor Hadrian and Emperor Marcus Aurelieus.

Speaking to Anadolu agency, Marc Waelkens, who first started the archaeology excavation at Sagalassos in 1990, said Turkey was one of the richest countries in the world in terms of valuable archaeological heritage. Other countries could not compete with Turkey in terms of this heritage, according to Waelkens.

July/23/2013

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