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Overview of the archeological site of Sagalassos

In antiquity, Sagalassos was the second major city of Pisidia, after Antioch ad Pisidia. At present, its excavations form by far the most impressive archeological site of ancient Pisidia. Sagalassos is located 7 km north of the village of Ağlasun, near Isparta in Turkey's Lake District. Like Termessos, Sagalassos was founded by the Pisidians, a warlike tribe of the People from the Sea who liked their cities to be perched on high on easily defendable mountains. The ruins of Sagalassos lie dramatically on the southern flank of mount Ak Dağ (White Mountain), at a height between 1400 and1650 meter. Most of the site dates from the Roman Imperial Period. Sagalassos, once the metropolis of Pisidia, was only thoroughly surveyed in 1884 and 1885 by an Austrian team. In 10986-1989 this work was resumed by a British-Belgian archeology team. In 1990, Sagalassos became a full scale Belgian archeological researchproject and a leading centre for interdisciplinary archaeological and archaeometrical research.

Due to its remoteness and altitude, Sagalassos is one of the best preserved cities from classical antiquity, with a rich architectural and sculptural tradtion dating from the 2nd century BC to the 6th century AD. The site was never pillaged for building materials, which makes it most suited for restoration. Excavations are concentrated on the upper and lower agoras to document the political and commercial life in the town and also in the area where a late Hellenistic fountain house or Nymphaea, which stlll functions to date, and a Roman library were discovered. Major efforts are undertaken to restore the excavated monuments in their old glory. Multidisciplinary research uniting more than 10 research disciplines allow integrate the town again within its ancient environment and document the central role which Sagalassos played in the area.

I visited Sagalassos on several occasions and took several pictures to illustrate the progress of the excavations:

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