Mr Christopher Lillington-Martin
June 2008 fieldwalking the landscape at Germania, Sapareva Banya, Bulgaria.
Thomas Thomov: The City of Istanbul and its suburbs,
I spent a week around the paths of the Russian pilgrim
Anthony of Novgorod. I examined the supposed locations of several topographical
objects as part of my forthcoming article. Now I must say that there
was certainly no street leading south from the Mese. My argumentation
is based on Anthony's words about the Russian's embolon.
Jonathan Shepard: Survey work, September-October
Survey of sites and artefactts
relating to functioning of 'Silk Roads' between China and Black
Sea/ Byzantine regions.
The Paintings in the Church of the
Panagia Chrysospiliotissa (Παναγια Χρυσοσπηλιωτισσα)
at Kato Devtera (Nicosia), Dr. M. A. Michael.
click for detailed report and discussion
A.W. Dunn: Planned for 2000
2000: A further study-season in the archaeological museums of Paphos
and Nicosia, Cyprus, for the Final Report on the
Crusader castle of 'Saranta Kolones'
Antony Eastmond, Warwick and Zaza Skhirtladze, Tblisi: Udabno monastery
in the Gareja Desert in Georgia
Gareja, a semi-arid desert on the frontier of Georgia and Azerbaijan,
has been a home for ascetic monks since the first foundation of a monastery
there in the sixth century by St Davit Garejeli, one of the so-called
13 Syrian Fathers. At its height in the twelfth-thirteenth centuries
around twenty monasteries and hermitages functioned in this inhospitable
region. In October 2001 a small project was set up to investigate a series
of wall paintings from the early middle ages in the main church at one
of the monasteries, Udabno. The project was run by a small team from
the University of Warwick and the Gareja Studies Centre in Tbilisi, under
its director Dr Zaza Skhirtladze......[continued]
Antony Eastmond, Warwick
Final report on an INTAS project to survey, record and restore a number
of newly discovered rock-cut monasteries in the Gareja Desert, Georgia
Zaza Skhirtladze, Tbilisi
This three-year project, funded by INTAS, to study the many monastic sites
in the Gareja Desert has substantially added to scholarly knowledge
about the establishment of monasteries and the nature of monastic life
in this region of Georgia. It has resulted in a number of new discoveries,
and a number of new publications, which are available at the Warburg
Dr. Archie Dunn: Thisve-Kastorion: Town, Territorium and Loci of Maritime Traffic (Report on activity in 2008)
The fourth season of the survey of Ancient (pre-Classical to Late Roman) Thisve and its successor, Byzantino-Frankish Kastorion, located at modern Thisve, now in the “Demos of Thisve” (until recently, Demos of Domvraina), lasted from August 25th to September 16th. This is the second year of collaboration with the 23rd Ephoreia of Byzantine Antiquities (EBA), with whose director, Dr E. Gerousi, there is a formal agreement. ...[continued]
Dr. Anne McCabe, American School of Classical Studies at Athens
Excavations in June-July 2008 in Section BH of the Athenian Agora brought to light evidence for Late Antique phases of use of the Classical Stoa probably to be identified as the Stoa Poikile. Preserved beneath domestic buildings of the Middle Byzantine period are a section of the back wall of the Classical building and elements of the bases of two columns of its interior Ionic colonnade. Late Antique walls run between the interior columns, and from the columns to the back wall, dividing the large (ca 48m long) building into small spaces. See our excavation website at www.agathe.gr, and the report by John Camp, Director of the Agora Excavations, in Hesperia 76 (2007) 627-663.
Dr. Archie Dunn: Thisve-Kastorion: Town, Territorium and Loci of Maritime Traffic (report on fieldwork conducted in 2007)
The third season of the archaeological survey of Ancient Thisve and Byzantino-Frankish Kastorion, at modern Thisve in the Koinotita of Domvraina, lasted for 4 weeks, from August 15th to September 11th. It has become a collaboration between the British School (represented by Birmingham University) and the new 23rd Ephoreia of Byzantine Antiquities, directed by Dr E.Gerousi, in succession to the 1st E.B.A.....[continued]
Dr. Anne McCabe, American School of Classical Studies at Athens Excavations carried out by the American School of Classical Studies in June-August in Section BH of the Athenian Agora continued to reveal domestic buildings of the 10th/11th century, built over the NE end of the Classical stoa identified as the Stoa Poikile. The Middle Byzantine walls preserve the orientation of the Classical building. Beneath them, earlier walls (probably of Late Antique date) incorporate the orthostate blocks of the Stoa's back wall and a column of the interior colonnade. See our website, www.agathe.gr
Professor J. Crow, Dr. S. Turner, Dr. Athanasios Vionis
Characterizing the historic landscapes of Naxos
From October 2006-September 2007 the first two authors held an AHRC award as part of the Landscapes and Society Programme. The research focused on a relatively new kind of landscape archaeology devised in Britain and applied for the first time in the eastern Mediterranean. Historic Landscape Characterisation (HLC) is a method for mapping the entire landscape with reference to its historic development. For our project we chose to analyse two contrasting Mediterranean landscapes: the Aegean island of Naxos (Greece), and the country around the small town of Silivri in Trakya (Turkey) (see second report).....[continued]
Dr. Archie Dunn: The Survey of Thisve-Kastorion (the Urban Site: 2006)
The second season of the archaeological survey of Thisve (Byzantine Kastorion) and its natural harbours lasted from September 1st to 23rd, 2006. It continues as a collaboration between the 9th Ephoreia of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, the 1st Ephoreia of Byzantine Antiquities, and a team from the University of Birmingham....[continued]
Dr. Anne McCabe, American School of Classical Studies at Athens
Excavation of a new area at the NW corner of the Athenian Agora (Section BH) carried out this June to August by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens produced domestic architecture of the 10th century: modest rooms defined by rubble wall foundations, with two wells and numerous storage vessels. At the bottom of one of these vessels appeared part of the foundations of the Painted Stoa. See our website: www.agathe.gr
Dr. Anne McCabe: June-August 2005, American School of Classical Studies at Athens (Section HB, layers of the 10th/11th century AD); see www.agathe.gr
Dr. Archie Dunn: The Collaborative Survey Of Thisve-Kastorion And Its Natural Harbours (2004-5)
Co-directors: Archie Dunn (Birmingham), Kharikleia Koilakou (First Ephoreia of Byzantine Antiquities), Vasileios Aravantinos (Director, Thebes Museum)
After preparatory work in the summers of 2003-4, Dunn and colleagues in November 2004 and July 2005 conducted a split first season of archaeological and environmental fieldwork in Boeotia in and around the major site at ancient and modern Thisve (Ottoman Kakosi).
This collaboration with the Ephoreias of Antiquities aims to integrate the older studies of (1) the ancient urban settlement of Thisve, of (2) the archaeology of the Plain of Thisve, and of (3) settlements situated around and within the natural harbours of Thisve, within a new study of the factors affecting the history of the sequence of towns (i.e. ancient Thisve and its newly identified successor Byzantine Kastorion: Dunn, in press) and their loci of maritime traffic (which are also now identifiable in Byzantine and post-Byzantine sources).....[Continued].
Dr. Anne McCabe: In June-July 2004, excavations in the Athenian Agora (Section BH) continued to reveal levels of the 10th/11th centuries. See our website at www.agathe.gr.
Mihailo Popovic: In August and September 2004 historical geographical studies in the northern part of Greece (Macedonia) together with Dr. P. Soustal (Austrian Academy of Sciences) for his forthcoming publication on Macedonia (Southern part: Macedonia A, Tabula Imperii Byzantini 11).
Dr. H.A. Kalligas
Work In Progress
1) Restoration project for a 14th c. monastic complex in the island of Symi.
2) Ongoing fieldwork for Monemvasia.
Christopher Lillington-Martin: BSA Hector and Elisabeth
Catling Travel Bursary Report, 2002-2003
Justinanic Greece, April 2003
I visited Greece in April 2003 to gather data on late antique
fortifications to supplement the information I gathered about Justinianic
military architecture in eastern Turkey in May 2002 with the support
of a BIAA travel grant and Dr Geoffrey Greatrex. I have been particularly
interested in collecting material from modern Turkey and Greece to compare,
on future surveys, with fortifications in Italy and other countries.
I decided to invite other postgraduates, whose research would benefit
from such visits, to accompany me and luckily Georgios Deligiannakis
(Lady Margaret Hall, University of Oxford), Jitse Dijkstra (University
of Gronigen, The Netherlands) and Alexander Sarantis, (St. Anne's College,
University of Oxford) were able to do so. The H & E Catling Travel
Bursary was spent, during this seven day visit in April 2003, on visiting:
Plataia, St Demetrias, Nea Ankhialos, Thessaloniki, Amphipolis, Philippi,
Korinth, the Isthmian Wall and the Akrokorinth. The following is a brief
report concentrating on the military sites. [View illustrated
Dr. Anne McCabe: Agora Excavations, American School
of Classical Studies at Athens, june-July 2003 (section BH, levels of
the 11th century AD, see www.agathe.gr).
Dr. Niki Tsironis:
- Coordination of the research project of the Institute for Byzantine
Research on The Book in Byzantium: Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Bookbinding.
In collaboration with the Byzantine Museum (Athens) and the Hellenic
Society for Bookbinding.
- Member of the research team working on the terminology of Medieval
Bookbinding. Supervisor: Professor Vassilis Atsalos (University of
- Member of the research team of the Hellenic Society for Bookbinding
working on the collections of regional libraries in Greece. The aim
of the group is to record and study bindings in the collections of
regional libraries of Greece. Until today the libraries visited are:
Library of Andritsaina (Nikolopoulos’ Collection), Zosimaia Library
of Ioannina, Archimandreio Collection (Metropolis of Ioannina), Library
of Pyrgos, Library of Patras, Library of the Holy Monastery of Transfiguration
· Curator of the exhibition entitled ‘The form of ancient and medieval
book. Byzantine and post-Byzantine bookbinding’. Archaeological Museum
of Drama (Sept.-Oct. 2003). The exhibition was part of the 6th International
Symposium on Greek Palaeography, organized by the Comité ?nternational
de Paléographie Grecque.
· Curator of the exhibition entitled ‘The art of bookbinding. Treasures
of the city of Ioannina’, presented at Ioannina (Feb.-March 2003) on the
occasion of the celebration of the 90 years from the liberation of the city.
Study and Conservation
- Completion of the research project entitled "Byzantium as
Cultural Heritage" funded by the Alexander S. Onassis Foundation.
The results of the project are used in the research project entitled "Vesting
the spirit: book covers and their decoration in Byzantium and
after" (Institute for Byzantine Research - HNRF) as well as in
the exhibition entitled "The Art of Bookbinding from Byzantium
to the Present Day" (see below).
- Research project entitled "Body Sacred - Body Unsacred".
Institute for Byzantine Research. The project will be completed
- Coordinator of the research project "Vesting the spirit:
book covers and their decoration in Byzantium and after". Institute
for Byzantine Research in collaboration with the Institute for
Modern Greek Research, the Byzantine and Christian Museum (Athens)
and the Hellenic Society for Bookbinding.
- Research assistant
of the group studying the terminology related to books and bookbinding
under the direction of Professor Vasilis Atsalos.
The Hellenic Society for Bookbinding
organized field research carried out by a group of scholars and conservators
that visited libraries and private collections in Greece surveying,
studying and offering advice and reports on noteworthy bindings and
book covers that should be given special attention. In 2002, we visited
the following libraries of Western Greece: Public Library of Andritsaina
(contains the excellent collection of A. K. Nikolopoulos), Collection
of Sakkelios (Arta), Zosimaia Library of Ioannina, Library of the
Metropolis of Ioannina, Library of the Monastery of Eleousa in the
Island of Ioannina, Municipal Library of Messolonghi, Collection
of Evangelatos (former Lord Mayor of Messolonghi), Public Library
of Pyrgos, Public Library of Patras, Papacharalambeios Public Library
of Naupaktos (contains the collection of Y. Vlahoyiannis), Library
of the Monastery of Transfiguration in Naupaktos. In 2003 we hope
that we shall be able to carry on our work in libraries of the Ionian
Islands and the mainland.Exhibitions
- Responsible for the exhibition organized
by the Hellenic Society for Bookbinding and the Centre for Art
and Culture 'Diexodos', entitled "The Art of Bookbinding from Byzantium
to the Present Day", first shown in Messolonghi (3rd November -23rd December
2002; extended until the 5th December). The exhibition
was realized under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture. 5.000
people out of whom 3.000 were students visited the exhibition.
- Coordination of the exhibition entitled "Vesting
the spirit: book covers and their decoration in Byzantium
and after". Byzantine and Christian Museum, March 2006.
- Responsible for the exhibition that
will be presented on the occasion of the 6th International
Symposium on Greek Palaeography in Drama. Fall 2003.
Mihailo Popović: In
August and September 2002 Mihail Popović carried
out historical geographical studies in the northern part of Greece
(Macedonia) together with Dr. P. Soustal (Austrian Academy of Sciences)
for his forthcoming publication on Macedonia (Southern part: Macedonia
A, Tabula Imperii Byzantini 11).
August 2000, Greece: 'The strategic geography of the
northern Peloponnese: settlement, fortification and logistics'.
of research and results
The survey was carried out
as the preliminary phase of a broader and more wide-ranging
project on logistics ca. 500-1200, which will place the medieval
written source material of all categories into the physical
context which it purports to describe in recounting military
activities, from movements of armies, recruitment of soldiers,
provision of supplies, livestock, water to the siting and development
of fortified centres etc. The aim is to provide a physical
control on the claims of the medieval sources in respect of
military activity, numbers and so forth, and the results will
generate a major source of information for the analysis of
medieval economic life and organisation.........[continued].
ARISTOTLE UNIVERSITY OF THESSALONIKI
'Epanomi Excavation Project', Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (supervisor:
Prof. Th. Pazaras), September 2000. Third season at the Site Μπγιαδούδι, at Epanomi, Thessaloniki, where an early-Christian
(fifth-century) basilica complex has been excavated since 1998.
John Haldon: August 2000
'The strategic geography of the northern Peloponnese:
settlement, fortification and logistics'.
Olga Karagiorgou: September-October 1999
Full-time supervisor of the excavation at the
site of Agios Demetrios on the island of Alonnesos, North Sporades,
Greece: late antique settlement of the 5th-6th c. A.D. A three-aisled
basilica and a bath came to light. The excavation was conducted
under the auspices of the 7th Department of Byzantine Antiquities,
Larisa, Thessaly (Head of Department: Mr Lazaros Deriziotes)
and the kind assistance of the Municipality of Alonnesos
Mr Christopher Lillington-Martin
August 2008 walking the 537-8 conflict area landscape between the Aurelian Walls and Salarian and Milvian Bridges, Rome.
Professor Dr Vasiliki Tsamakda
Member of the research team of the START-Project ‘The Domitilla-Catacomb in Rome’, Institut für Kulturgeschichte der Antike, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften. Supervisor: Dr. Norbert Zimmermann. See also website
Dr. Vasiliki Tsamakada: The Domitilla-Project
Member of the research team of the START-Project “The Domitilla-Catacomb in Rome”, Institut für Kulturgeschichte der Antike, Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften.
Supervisor: Dr. Norbert Zimmermann.
See also: website
The Domitilla-Catacomb in Rome
Archaeology, Architecture and Art History of a Late Roman Cemetery
The Roman catacomb of Domitilla with 15 km of galleries is not only the largest catacomb of Rome, it also documents all phenomena and degrees of catacomb development, from isolated pagan tombs and the earliest anonymous community burials to the huge 4th -century necropolis and the later pilgrimage sanctuary with its subterranean basilica. Furnished with 77 painted tombs of all its phases of use, it is also one of the most important and interesting catacombs. Even after about 400 years of research it is still not studied nor published in its entirety, but with its abundant bibliography about some special aspects, using the various methods of research developed until now, it represents a typical case of today's status questionis for the catacombs: while the general lines of their history and development are out of doubt, only little is known about the rich individual story of each cemetery since the catacombs are rarely read as entire archaeological monuments. What is mostly lacking until now is a complete documentation offering full access to all kinds of scientific debate on these so good preserved but still so unknown remains in the centre of the Roman Empire.
The goal of the Domitilla project
The goal of the Domitilla project is to do both: to elaborate a complete, high quality documentation of architecture and paintings, based on 3D-Laser-scanner datas for the first time, and to combine all kinds of methodological approaches to a synthetic, equilibrate use of them. The first step will be the long expected repertory of the paintings, partly still unpublished or not present in modern studies. The project will provide not only a new standard of publication and study, but also the art history, iconography and meaning of the paintings as well as the topography and architecture of galleries and rooms, the number, typology and position of the tombs, the inscriptions and the social context will be read in a modern, multi-disciplinary analysis. The micro-history of the Domitilla catacomb reflects the general changes of late ancient Roman society in a direct way. The project will open a new and deeper view of that changes.
Mihailo Popovic: In April / May 2003 Mihailo
Popovic participated in an excavation at Torrenova (on the northern
shore of Sicily, 120 kilometres to the west of Messina) under
the direction of Prof. E. Kislinger and Prof. F. Dain (both University
of Vienna) with the aim of bringing to light the remnants of
the monastery of San Pietro di Deca ('Conventazzo').
Mihailo Popović: In
May 2002 Mihailo Popović participated
in an excavation at Torrenova (on the northern shore of Sicily,
120 kilometres to the west of Messina) under the direction
of Prof. E. Kislinger and Prof. F. Daim (both University of
Vienna) with the aim to bring to light the remnants of the
monastery of San Pietro di Deca ('Conventazzo').
I would like
to announce that my scheduled trip to Italy for summer
1999 had to be postponed last year. I am
planning to visit Italy this summer instead. The route remains
the same and is based on Belisarius' route through Italy as
described in Books 5-6 of Procopius' Wars.
Professor Claudine Dauphin
Amman (Jordan), January-March 2008: in collaboration with Dr M. Ben Jeddou (Chercheur Associé of the Centre d’études Préhistoire, Antiquité, Moyen Âge of the CNRS-University of Nice, Sophia Antipolis), launching of new project under the aegis of the University of Wales, Lampeter, with an official permit of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan and the assistance of the Council for British Research in the Levant (CBRL), Amman: ‘Agriculturalists and Nomads in Palestine III: a Geographical Information Systems (GISs) Study’. The chronological framework is the Late Byzantine period until the victory of Saladin (1137-1193) over the Franks at the Battle of Hattin and the collapse of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. The recording of archaeological sites registered in the inventories The Archaeological Heritage of Jordan (1973), and The Archaeological Map of Jordan, in the Archives of the Department of Antiquities of Jordan as well as those in the Jordanian computerized national database JADIS, was completed in view of the creation of a Database System of Management, presently in process.
PALESTINE AND ISRAEL
Dr Ken Dark
Nazareth Archaeological Project 2008
The Nazareth Archaeological Project (directed by Ken Dark, University of Reading) began in 2004 as an attempt to survey the rural hinterland of the Roman-period and Byzantine settlement at Nazareth, Israel. Since 2005, this has developed into a wider study of Nazareth, and of the valley to its north – which remains almost wholly agricultural (see annual reports in BBBS 31-34). The steep slopes of the Nazareth ridge to the south, may have restricted the agricultural hinterland of Roman-period and Byzantine Nazareth to this valley, which is well provided with small springs, so that the survey area probably encompasses almost all of the land farmed from Nazareth in these periods.
The focus of our work in central Nazareth is the Sisters of Nazareth, a nineteenth-century European convent adjacent to the famous Church of the Annunciation, the site of the Byzantine building of the same name. As reported in BBBS 33-34, this convent is built over a large cellar containing preserved structures and other archaeological features found in the course of unscientific – and almost entirely previously unpublished – ‘excavations’ during the late nineteenth to mid- twentieth centuries. Our work in 2006-7 concentrated on recording these features, the many finds in the convent museum (including Byzantine pottery, lamps, architectural fragments and coins), and the impressive convent archive of written descriptions and drawings of the earlier discoveries.
As reported in BBBS 34, among this material there is evidence for a large Byzantine church with polychrome floor- and wall- mosaics, found above the level of the cellar. This church, which partially overlies a well-preserved (and originally mosaic-decorated) cave-church with associated water storage- and management- facilities, was probably one of the two described in the seventh-century Insular Latin text De Loci Sanctis.
The main objectives of the 2008 season were to undertake a detailed survey of one of the, probably Roman-period and Byzantine, sites including rock-cut features found in 2004-5 in the countryside north of Nazareth (for our survey of another of these sites, see BBBS 34), and to continue recording at the Sisters of Nazareth convent. Both objectives were achieved, although further work will be required in 2009 to complete recording, assist its preservation and prepare the site for display.
Using a Total Station, we made a plan of one of the most extensive sites with rock-cut features in the countryside north of Nazareth. This – like that surveyed in 2007 – shows extensive quarrying activities. The site surveyed in 2008 had a rectilinear stepped rock-cut pool, probably a miqve (Jewish ritual bath) on typological grounds, in addition to quarrying features. Unless settlement took place at the site when the latter was constructed it is hard to explain its presence, as the limestone being quarried was considered ‘clean’ under Jewish law during the relevant period. This is, therefore, consistent with the large quantity of Roman-period and Byzantine domestic pottery found at the site in 2005 (and visible on its surface in 2008) as evidence for domestic occupation. The relative dates of the domestic occupation and quarrying at the site are unknown, but a similar juxtaposition of probably Roman-period and Byzantine domestic occupation and quarrying activity has been recorded elsewhere in the surrounding landscape. This might suggest that the domestic occupation and quarrying are contemporary, with local farmers taking advantage of the market for building-stone in the Roman-period and Byzantine town of Sepphoris or, perhaps, in Byzantine Nazareth.
The Sisters of Nazareth convent
In 2008, structural recording included the completion of almost all of the remaining elevation- and sections-drawings and a Total Station plan of the whole site. Re-examination identified further Early Roman-period (Phase 1) rock-cut features, including a possible stairway to a roof or upper floor of the main structure recorded in 2006-7 (see BBBS 33-34). Surviving examples of partly rock-cut domestic structures, occupied until recently in the ‘old city’ of Nazareth – one very similar to that at the convent site – support the view that the Phase 1 structure at the convent was a domestic building, although it is securely dated to the Early Roman period and so (presumably) almost two thousand years earlier in date than those recently occupied.
At the start of the 2008 season, the Superior of the convent drew our attention to a large, deeply incised, graffito of a fish, on the west wall of the Phase 1 rock-cut structure. As the relevant wall-surface had probably been covered by plaster and mosaic during the Byzantine and Crusader periods, and deeply buried after the fire that destroyed the site at the end of the Crusader period, the graffito may either belong to the Byzantine or Roman period or – probably less plausibly – it may be the product of late nineteenth-century or later visitors. Our own inspection of the preserved structures recognised Hebrew inscriptions next to the openings of loculi in the best-preserved Early Roman-period (Phase 2) tomb at the site, where they are unlikely to have been added since the Roman period. These will be examined further in 2009.
Investigation of a previously known (but unpublished) long masonry-lined underground tunnel, perhaps of Crusader and later date, identified a hitherto unknown well in an arched niche recessed into the west side of the tunnel. Its deep well shaft, extending into the natural geological deposits beneath, still contains much water. This is probably a previously unrecorded natural spring in central Nazareth and, therefore, has implications both for the interpretation of the Sisters of Nazareth site and the archaeology of the city as a whole, where few other water sources are known.
Finally, a review of the medieval and later pottery from the site with Dr Edna Stern (Israel Antiquities Authority), a leading expert on Crusader-period pottery in Israel, identified previously unrecognised thirteenth-century wares. This extends the chronology of medieval activity on the site beyond the capture of Nazareth in 1197.
I would like to thank the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Sisters of Nazareth for allowing me to undertake this fieldwork, the Palestine Exploration Fund and University of Reading for providing funding for this season’s work, to all the 2008 team for their assistance, and to Professor Joseph Patrich (Hebrew University, Jerusalem) and Dr Edna Stern (Israel Antiquities Authority) for taking the time to provide their advice and in-depth discussion of the convent site and its finds. I am very grateful for the continuing support and generous assistance of local people from all of the ethnic and religious communities in Nazareth and the surrounding area. In the UK, thanks are due to Sam Moorhead, Felicity Cobbing, Chris Entwistle, Edith Rigby, Joan Taylor, Jonathan Tubb, and John Wilkinson for their help and advice in relation to the 2008 season.
Ken Dark: Nazareth Archaeology Project 2007
This project, directed by Ken Dark (University of Reading) and funded by the Palestine Exploration Fund, Late Antiquity Research Group, and the University of Reading, was established in 2004 to investigate Roman-period and Byzantine (fifth- to seventh-century AD) Nazareth and its hinterland (previously reported in BBBS 31-33). Previous seasons involved an intensive field-walking and surface survey of the landscape between Nazareth and the Roman-period and Byzantine town of Sepphoris (Zippori) to its north, and archaeological recording at the Sisters of Nazareth convent next to the Church of the Annunciation in the centre of Nazareth.
Work in 2007 concentrated on recording a complex of rock-cut features in the countryside north of Nazareth, first identified in 2005 and preserved amid agricultural fields, and at the Sisters of Nazareth convent site in central Nazareth.
At the former, a Total Station survey of the whole site recorded all the visible rock-cut features. These include what may be structural evidence, spatially associated with hundreds of sherds of Roman-period and Byzantine domestic pottery, and what may be evidence of quarrying activities. Quarrying has been identified in conjunction with settlements of this date elsewhere in the Nazareth area, and this may be understood in terms of that wider association. The possibility that other Roman-period and Byzantine sites identified in the landscape around Nazareth may have combined quarrying and agricultural elements in their economies is to be investigated further in 2008.
Survey at the Sisters of Nazareth convent in 2007 continued to record the well preserved, but hitherto unpublished, features at the site. As reported in BBBS 33, these include what may be a – once mosaic-decorated – Byzantine-cave church with associated cisterns and a well, at least two – probably three – Roman-period Jewish tombs and an early Roman-period domestic structure (or structures). The latter probably dates to the first-century AD and, if so, is the only surface-constructed building of this date so far identified in Nazareth. In 2007, further evidence for all of these phases was recorded, including additional walls of the early Roman-period structure(s) and what may be Byzantine-period vaulting, in addition to Crusader walling and vaulting. 400 finds were drawn to 1/1 scale, and examination of the surviving artefacts recognised evidence of shell-working, probably for inlays, including a small cross of a form suggesting a Byzantine date for this activity.
Further analysis of earlier, unpublished, records has contributed additional evidence that a large Byzantine church stood over the cave-church complex. This church was more architecturally complex and elaborately decorated than was realised in 2006, and may have resembled – in general terms – in plan the Early Byzantine church at Ayia Trias on Cyprus. The building in Nazareth was floored with polychrome mosaic, and a small fragment of mosaic floor is preserved in the convent museum. There were also polychrome wall mosaics, and fragments of a white marble chancel screen still exist. The same records indicate further mosaic-floored Byzantine buildings to the south of the church, along the edge of a wadi between these structures and the Byzantine Church of the Annunciation.
This evidence indicates that Byzantine Nazareth contained two large churches dominating its centre, with other mosaic-floored and colonnaded masonry structures around them. As such, the centre of the settlement was transformed, probably in the fourth or early fifth century, from a small, low-status, Roman-period village with few masonry structures, to a monumentalised Byzantine pilgrimage centre. This has to be set in the context of the evidence for both unusually intensive – but probably low-status – rural settlement during the Roman period in the agriculturally rich valley north of Nazareth and for almost total continuity of that settlement-pattern until the end of the sixth century or beyond, judging from pottery evidence.
It is intended to continue work both in the countryside and at the Sisters of Nazareth site in 2008 if permission is granted.
Survey in 2007 was only possible through the kind permission and help of the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Sisters of Nazareth convent. The convent has continued to be an exemplary host for an archaeological project. The assistance provided by Dr Eliya Ribak both before and during the survey was invaluable as in previous years. Thanks are also due to the organisations funding the project (mentioned above) and to Chris Entwistle, Sam Moorhead and Edna Stern for their advice and help in recruiting specialist staff.
Ken Dark: Nazareth Landscape Archaeology Project
The project that began in 2004 under the direction of Ken Dark (Research Centre for Late Antique and Byzantine Studies, University of Reading) continued in 2006 with work at the Sisters of Nazareth Convent, adjacent to the Church of the Annunciation in the centre of modern Nazareth. This involved completing a detailed measured and photographic survey of the many archaeological features visible in the cellars of the convent, and compiling a preliminary catalogue and photographic record of the artefacts from the site. Earlier excavation records were also copied for future analysis.
This is the first time that the Sisters of Nazareth site and its finds have been examined in full by professional archaeologists since its discovery in the 1880s and after almost a hundred years of unscientific excavations, none of which have been either properly published or analysed using current archaeological methods. Together, these records allow a reinterpretation of the date and sequence of the excavated features.
The earliest phase of activity on the site may comprise a series of rectilinear rock-cut walls cut into a natural north-south slope and spatially associated with, probably early Roman-period, limestone vessels and Roman-period cooking-pot sherds. This evidence may suggest a low-status domestic structure dating to the early Roman period, analogous to the rock-cut structures identified during our work in the countryside outside Nazareth in 2005. If so, this is the first surface-built domestic structure to have been identified from early Roman-period Nazareth.
When the rock-cut structure was disused, a kokhim-tomb, also probably of early Roman date, was cut into the steep slope to its south probably before the construction of a large apsidally-ended, at least partly artificial, cave with at least two associated rock-cut cisterns and ancillary rooms along its flank. The large cave was decorated with polychrome Byzantine mosaics and may be associated with a large quantity of Byzantine finds, including pottery and sculptured architectural stonework and possible liturgical fittings. On this basis, the artificial cave may be interpreted as an elaborately decorated cave-church with associated water-related features.
While some of the sculpted stonework seems to have been employed in the cave itself, some appears to derive from a large church, perhaps Byzantine in date, built above the features already described – three apses of which were planned in detail in the unpublished, and hitherto unknown, records of earlier investigators. The earlier Roman features seem to have been incorporated into this ecclesiastical building. Provisionally, this might be interpreted as a major church complex in the centre of Byzantine Nazareth.
The cave-church was used in the Crusader period, as evidenced by Crusader-period stonework, much Crusader-period pottery, and an elaborate array of vaults, stairways and a flagstone floor constructed to incorporate and give access to the earlier features from the level of the church above them. A chapel was constructed next to the earlier tomb. A thick burning deposit, perhaps dating to the late twelfth or early thirteenth century, covered all of these, and the flagstone floor was discoloured by fire, before the site was disused.
It is hoped to undertake further fieldwork in 2007 to investigate the rock-cut features in the survey area discovered in 2005 and at the Sisters of Nazareth Convent, if permission is given.
The 2006 survey was only possible through the kind permission and help of the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Sisters of Nazareth Convent in Nazareth. The assistance provided by Dr Eliya Ribak, and by Sister Margherita of the Sisters of Nazareth Convent, was invaluable. Questions or enquiries about the possibility of volunteering to participate in the project’s 2007 season should be sent to K.R.Dark@reading.ac.uk.
Ken Dark: Nazareth Landscape Archaeology Project
The project that began in 2004 under the direction of Ken Dark (Research Centre for Late Antique and Byzantine Studies, The University of Reading) continued in 2005.
Intensive fieldwalking and surface survey of a 5km x 3km transect across the present agricultural landscape between Nazareth and the Roman town at Sepphoris (Zippori) revealed a series of artefact concentrations, probably representing farms and villages with occupation from the early Roman period until the sixth century. Several of these were associated with (usually rock-cut) surface features, some of which appear to represent substantial structures. From current data it is unclear whether these were domestic or agricultural features, or whether some or all were used for other purposes, and if their use changed over time. ‘Thinner' scatters of more abraded pottery over wider areas may represent zones of manuring in neighbouring fields.
Later material was present at only three sites, and only at two of these is continuity after c.600 likely. With the exception of these sites, on present evidence, patterns of landscape organization that seem to have been established at the start of the Roman period appear to have been abandoned after the Byzantine period.
It is hoped to undertake further fieldwork in 2006 to investigate the rock-cut features in the northern part of the survey area and to re-assess Roman and Byzantine evidence within Nazareth itself, if permission is given.
The 2005 survey was only possible through the kind permission and help of the Israel Antiquities Authority. The assistance provided by Eliya Ribak (the assistant director of the project), both in organising and conducting the survey, was also invaluable. Finally, I would like to thank the local people of Nazareth, Zippori and the surrounding countryside, from all the religious and ethnic communities in the area, who again offered their help and support to the project.
Offers of funding, questions, or enquiries about the possibility of volunteering to participate in the 2006 survey, should be sent to K.R.Dark@reading.ac.uk.
Ken Dark: Nazareth Landscape Archaeology Project
Ken Dark (The University of Reading) directed the first season of a new archaeological project designed to investigate the landscape between Nazareth and the Roman town of Sepphoris (Zippori) in the Galilee. In 2004, this involved fieldwalking a 2km x 5km transect bisecting the broad valley that separates the limestone hills on which the two towns are situated. Surprisingly, the area has been largely neglected by previous archaeological work, yet is largely given over to agriculture and almost wholly available for archaeological investigation.
The 2004 season identified a series of discrete pottery scatters, probably representing farms with occupation from the early Roman period until the sixth century. The small quantities of local ceramics involved (and lack of durable building materials) may imply lower-status households. No post-sixth century material was recorded. This contrasts with excavated evidence from both Nazareth and Sepphoris, where seventh-century and later activity has been recognised.
One larger focus of activity – perhaps representing a large Roman-period and Byzantine village – was also found. This was evidenced by locally-produced pottery, imported Early Byzantine red-slipped wares and amphora, and structural evidence including rock-cut and built features spread across approximately 1 square km. Again, no post-sixth century material was recorded.
The 2004 work has begun to reconstruct the settlement pattern in this zone, suggesting an agricultural landscape coming into existence in the early Roman period and lasting until the Byzantine period, after which it was wholly deserted. The reasons for the origin and desertion of this landscape are unclear. Further work is required to investigate this and to establish the generality of the settlement pattern and chronology. It is hoped to continue the survey in 2005, if permission is given, and further funding is currently being sought to allow this. Offers of funding, questions, or enquiries about the possibility of volunteering to participate in the survey, should be sent to K.R.Dark@reading.ac.uk.
The 2004 survey was only possible through the permission and help of the Israel Antiquities Authority. The assistance provided by Eliya Ribak (the assistant director of the project) and her family, both in organising and conducting the survey, was also invaluable. Finally, I would like to thank the many local people, from all the religious and ethnic communities in the area, who helped us and offered their unanimous support to the project
Claudine Dauphin: October 1999
Short season of excavations in the Southern Bethesda
Pool (Probatica) where Jesus cured the paralytic (John 5) and
final season on the Byzantine episcopal basilica at Dor.
Claudine Dauphin: October
In BBBS 2000, p. 31 Claudine Dauphin's fieldwork report was mentioned
under the heading 'Israel'. She writes the following: 'Whereas In
October-December 1999 (on p. 32) is rightly in Israel,
the basilica at Dor being situated in Israel proper, the Bethseda
Pools (Probatica) are on French Territory in the Old City of
Jerusalem under Israeli occupation since 1967 (see UN Resolution
242 of 22 November 1967) and are by no means whatsoever in 'Israel'.
Since both Britain and France are signatories to UN Resolution
242, I am absolutely adamant that my excavations of the Bethseda
Pools should not appear under the heading Israel. The
solution adopted in most scientific journals is to adopt the
proper regional geographical name of Palestine. An alternative
is Palestine and Israel.'
Dr. Anne McCabe: September 2005, Al Andarin, Oxford team.
Androna (Andarin) Excavations and Survey, Syria
Co-directors: Dr. R. Ugdeh (Hama); Dr. M. Mango (Oxford); Prof. C. Strube (Heidelberg). Oxford team (for planning season 2004): Dr. M. Mango, Dr. M. Decker, Dr. R. Hoyland, Prof. C. Mango, C. Schoening.
This collaborative project of excavation and survey of a large non-urban desert site, recorded as a Late Roman mansio on a Palmyra-Antioch trade route and as a Byzantine kome renowned for its wine, started in 1997 with a topographical survey of the extensive remains which include 2 concentric circuit walls, 12 churches, and 50 known Greek inscriptions. The programme of field work continued from 1998 with excavations in the centre of the site of a public bath (by Oxford) and barracks (by Heidelberg) -- two pretentiously decorated buildings constructed by the same individual in and around AD 558 -- and an Ummayad bath (by Hama). Oxford's excavations 2001-3 of the 2 large irrigation reservoirs by the site (61 x 61 x c3 m) revealed systems inflow and outflow channels, evidence of fish breeding, and elaborate architectural and other sculpture. Study of excavated material continues at Oxford by P. Lange, M. Robinson, and C. Salter. The Oxford team's 2004 season was spent planning in Damascus and near Androna for a landscape study of the area around the site in 2005-06.
Dr. Anne McCabe: Al Andarin, Syria
(Oxford team), September 2003.
Professor J. Crow and Professor D. Mektav
Survey in Thrace August-September 2008
J. Crow, University of Edinburgh, School of History, Classics & Archaeology, Edinburgh, UK
D. Maktav, Istanbul Technical University, Remote Sensing Department, 34469, Istanbul, Turkey
This year’s field survey in Thrace (2008) marked the final year of fieldwork concerned with the aqueducts and water channels outside the city. The recent publication of the monograph (Crow et al. 2008) draws on fieldwork up to 2005, but since 2007 we have been collaborating in a joint project with Professor Derya Maktav of ITU and supported by TUBITAK and the British Academy. This research programme (2007-08) has utilised satellite and digital map data to develop further research into the Byzantine water supply system (Çeçen 1996) and to provide an extensive digital terrain model and GIS to document the complex system of Byzantine hydraulic monuments in the region west of Istanbul. This short report will outline the results of surveys in 2008. [continued]
Ken Dark (University of Reading) and Jan Kostenec (Charles University, Prague)
The Hagia Sophia Project, Istanbul, 2004-8
The purpose of this brief report is to present a summary of the results of an archaeological study of the Byzantine church of Hagia Sophia and its immediate environs, undertaken between 2004 and 2008. The project was initiated by Ken Dark (University of Reading) in 2004, and is co-directed by Ken Dark and Jan Kostenec (Charles University, Prague). The work is funded and supported by the Charles University Grant Agency, the Late Antiquity Research Group and the Andrew Mellon Foundation, and takes place with the kind permission of the Turkish authorities and of the director and staff of Ayasofya Müzesi, whose help has been invaluable. [continued]
Professor John Haldon
The Avkat Archaeological project (see BBBS 33 (2007) 42-47)
This is a collaborative research project seeking to elucidate the history of a north-central Anatolian sub-province in Turkey across three millennia and its integration into various states, including the Hittite Empire, the Mithradatic Kingdom of Pontus, the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires and the Republic of Turkey. The region of Mecitözü in central Turkey lies between Amasya and Çorum. The area is important because it did not contain a major metropolis, cultural center or extensive urban site, unlike the majority of areas which have been the subject of excavation or survey projects in Turkey. Although thus typical of much of central and eastern Asia Minor in historical times, we know almost nothing about such areas because few have yet been studied with a view to following long-term changes. Understanding regional shifts in population, land-use and settlement patterns, and when they occur, is one of the project’s major objectives, and a key research question is whether or not, and if so to what extent, changes in local political formations impacted upon settlement and patterns of agrarian and pastoral exploitation, on the one hand, and on patterns of administration and resource exploitation by state systems, on the other.
Fundamental to the investigation is the use of Geographical Information Systems (GIS), which are a central analytical tool in the project’s research plan. From the 1980s there has been continued development of archaeological field survey methods, as well as remote sensing techniques ranging from ground-penetrating radar to airborne radar systems and satellite imagery. But the integration of these techniques into a unified project design, into which historical and documentary data can also be incorporated and accessed, has rarely been achieved, while GIS has rarely been used to its full potential in archaeological research. This is thus an extremely innovative project that seeks to integrate traditional archaeological survey work with other disciplines into a 100% digital project exploiting the full capacities of modern technology. In this way it will contribute to advances in the use of GIS to enhance understanding of the past, incorporating large datasets of a traditional archaeological nature together with non-archaeological information (large volumes of text, climatic data, and palynological data, for example), and involves a challenging process of integrating a complex range of datasets into a unified approach to a region at the same time as fully exploiting GIS both to enhance this understanding of the past and to create a web-accessible site with full access to datasets for all visitors.
The dataset for this project will come from the fieldwork in the region, supplemented by hydrological, geomorphological and palynological work, and by archival research on a range of historical records from ancient, medieval, Ottoman and modern sources. The resulting analyses will enable the project to provide multidisciplinary approaches to broader questions of how societies are structured and transformed through time, and its results will hence be of fundamental value to other interdisciplinary projects linking humanities and natural sciences.
The project is designed to run over three 3-year phases: an initial period of research and exploratory field-work and analysis (2006, 2007, 2008: see interim reports on the project website, a central phase of expanded fieldwork and more detailed paleo-environmental and historical research (2009, 2010, 2011), and a final phase involving selected excavation at key sites around the focus settlement of Avkat (mod. Beyözü), and intensive fieldwork to establish a base chronology for the ceramic and paleoenvironmental data. We have now completed the first phase, and the 2009 season will see the expansion of the survey work and an intensification of the paleo-environmental work of the project, together with the holding of a colloquium involving all the key international players. During the second phase the work of collating and interpreting/analyzing the data – historical, environmental and archaeological – will also begin in earnest, and we plan a number of meetings of specialists to facilitate this.
The project benefits from collaboration with several institutions: the College of Charleston (SC); Trent University, Ontario; the HP Vista Spatial Visualization Centre, University of Birmingham (UK); Middle Eastern Technical University, and Ankara University (Turkey), The Austrian Academy of Sciences (Vienna), the University of Fribourg (Switzerland), Melbourne University (Australia), Koç University (Istanbul), and the Butrint Project (UK & Albania).
The project is part of the Anatolian Landscapes initiative of the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara, Turkey (BIAA), and we are extremely grateful to the BIA and its Director, Dr Lutgarde Vandeput, for the substantial infrastructural support received. We thank also the American Research Institute in Turkey (ARIT) for administrative and academic support.
For the latest report, go to our webpage
Dr Mark Jackson and Professor J.N. Postgate
Byzantine Kilise Tepe, Turkey 2007, 2008
Coinciding with the publication of the first five years of excavations at Kilise Tepe (Postgate and Thomas 2007), a new phase of work began at this multi-phase site in 2007 under the overall direction of Prof J.N. Postgate (Cambridge) with Dr Mark Jackson (Newcastle) responsible for the direction of the Byzantine levels. Excavations took place in July-September 2007 and 2008 through which we aimed to understand better the dynamics of this Byzantine rural settlement which has its own spring and overlooks the fertile floodplain of the Göksu Valley in the central Taurus Mountains of southern Turkey. The site is located by an ancient road and is about a kilometer from a ruined bridge which once crossed the river at Kisla between Silifke and Mut.
The last two seasons have given us the opportunity to situate the church which was excavated 1994-1998, within its structural context. So our aim has been to begin to identify well preserved vernacular structures and to establish the physical relationship between the domestic buildings and the church. This will enable us ultimately to investigate the impact of this focal structure on the pre-existing settlement and the way in which it influenced subsequent construction and social activities. We plan to consider the use of space within vernacular structures, to refine the chronology of the Byzantine ceramic assemblage, and, to recover environmental evidence from animal bones and palaeo-botanical remains in order to consider further the nature of subsistence and economy in the level I phase at Kilise Tepe.
We have now completed the excavation of a house in area M18 which had been partially destroyed by fire preserving a number of artefacts in situ including a lamp M18/301, coarse and plain pottery and a coin (M18/294). Radiocarbon samples have been taken.
Work south of the church revealed a room oriented E-W 6.10m x 2.5m with a floor and mud-brick bench into which a cooking pot (J15/28) was set and on which other fragmentary vessels (J15/27; J15/29, J15/30) were resting. Along the north side of the room two pits were found, associated with an earlier surface containing respectively a broken Amphora (J15/37) and large storage jar (K15/83). In the NE corner, 20 small coins (K15/36, K15/82) and a lead token were found associated with three other small holes in the floor. The excavation of W4003, which runs north into the unexcavated section less than 2.5m from the church, should provide the direct structural relationship between the church and the building phases in K15.
Excavation of a trench 10m x 15m in the centre of the mound exposed two rooms and an impressive number of finds lying in situ on the flagged floors including storage vessels, painted Byzantine pottery including a vessel with painted and gouged cross (Jackson and Postgate 2007: front cover image) and a bird-shaped copper alloy pendant (O15/121; KLT 184). The associated walls to the south and west here continue demonstrating that these rooms were part of a larger complex. The detailed writing up process of the first two seasons will take place during research leave in spring 2009. A third season of excavations is planned for 2009 followed by a study season. We aim to excavate further the areas around the church and to consider aspects of this Byzantine rural settlement, including, if indeed why this settlement seems to have been abandoned.
The work on the Byzantine levels was supported by the British Academy and Newcastle University. We are very grateful for the support of the British Institute at Ankara and the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The trench supervisors included three students from Newcastle University: Katie Green (O15), Sophie Moore (M18), and Paul Dunn (N15); and a former Newcastle graduate Tim Sandiford our draftsman, we are also very grateful also to Kerrie Grant who joined us as supervisor for J-K15.
N. Postgate and D. Thomas, Excavations at Kilise Tepe, 1994-1998 From Bronze Age to Byzantine in Western Rough Cilicia (London: BIAA; Cambridge: McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research 2007) 2 vols.
M. Jackson and N. Postgate, ‘Kilise Tepe 2007’, Anatolian Archaeology 13 , 28-30 & cover.
Professor J. Crow, Professor D. Mektav, Dr. S. Turner
Survey in Thrace July 2007
This year’s field survey in Thrace combined two distinct projects, both developing from the established programme of work on the late Roman and Byzantine monuments commenced in 1994 (Crow 2007; Crow et al 2008). The first was a new programme, supported by the AHRC (Crow and Turner), concerned to evaluate the potential of remote sensing satellite images and their application for the study of ancient landscapes applying the technique of Historic Landscape Characterisation (HLC) in the region around Silivri (for a discussion of the technique see the outline in Crow, Turner and Vionis on Naxos). The second project, in collaboration with Professor Derya Maktav of ITU and supported by TUBITAK, will apply satellite data and other digital map data to develop further research into the Byzantine water supply system (Çeçen 1996) and to provide an extensive digital terrain model and GIS to document the complex system of Byzantine hydraulic monuments in the region west of Istanbul.....[continued]
Professor Michel Kaplan
(with M.-F. Auzépy, H. Çentinkaya, O. Delouis, J.-P. Grélois) survey of monasteries of Bithynia known by the text but not precisely localised ; started in 2004 ; continued in 2005 and 2006 ; due to go on 2006 and 2007. Some interesting finds already. Published every year in Anatolia Antiqua, since 2006. 2004 report found in ‘À propos des monastères de Médikion et de Sakkoudion’, Revue des Études Byzantines 63 (2005) 183-194.
Professor John Haldon: The Avkat Survey Project
The Avkat Survey (jointly managed by members of Princeton University and of the University of Birmingham/UK), for which planning and fundraising began in 2005, is now established. A successful workshop/colloquium was held at Princeton in May 2006 to discuss and work out strategic issues; and the first season’s survey work, in August 2007, is now planned and budgeted. Project funding is managed by an oversight committee of colleagues from several departments at Princeton. The project is conducted in co-operation with the HPVista Spatial and Visualisation Centre of the University of Birmingham/UK. The project is part of the British Institute at Ankara strategic research initiative Settlement history of Anatolia. Co-operation with the Tabula Imperii Byzantini of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) and Koç University, Istanbul, is in place....[Continued].
Christopher Lillington-Martin: Dara Battlefield Revisited, May 2006
The AD 530 battlefield. The view is taken from the roof of the church at Ambar looking east during the cereal crop harvest, May 2006. The position is about 3km south of Dara. The north - south road from Dara is a grey line just beyond the foreground buildings. There is a track running east-west in the mid-ground beyond the washing line. The low hills are in the background. I was assured by local farmers that they find 6 cm arrowheads in this area which, fortunately, they drop back onto the ground.
Planned Fieldwork for 2007: Preliminary pilot survey of Marathon and Plataia Battlefields.
Professor John Haldon: July 2006, preliminary survey of the site of Euchaita/Avkat in northern Turkey.
Christopher Lillington-Martin: Pilot Field-Walking Survey near Ambar & Dara, SE Turkey
I visited Turkey so as to examine sites related to the study of the history and archaeology the Eastern Roman Empire with special reference to the battle of Dara, AD 530. Dr Tony Pollard, Director of the Centre for Battlefield Archaeology, University of Glasgow and I concentrated on the site of Dara and the battlefield to the south of the site. We also visited related sites in the landscape towards Ammodios, such as Ambar, to appreciate the Persian perspective and to appreciate the tactics used by both armies at the battle of Dara, AD 530 (which were influenced by the contours which seem to have led to a channelling of the Persian army into a somewhat restricted area). We also examined the terrain (e.g. southern foothills of the Tur Abdin and their relationship to this northern edge of the Syrian plain) and visited Nisibis and Mor Gabriel, Midyat. [Continued as Adobe pdf 106kb]
James Crow: Anastasian Wall Project 2005
The late-Roman city of Selymbria, renamed Eudociopolis after the wife of Theodosius II, was one of a number of new fifth-century foundations in the eastern Thrace. The ancient city was defined by a circuit of wall approximately square in form, with the south side overlooking the Sea of Marmara in high cliffs. The city walls have received very little archaeological attention with the exception of an account by Feridun Dirimtekin, published in 1965. Photographs taken at the time of the Bulgarian occupation during the first Balkan War (1912-13), show gates and walls surviving nearly to their full height on the north and east sides and these supplement the sketches and description of the city made by Dr John Covel in May 1675 (1998). Subsequently significant parts have been demolished, especially on the east side where little now survives.
In June 2005 with the kind assistance of the Silivri Belediye, we were able to use existing city plans to trace the line of the wall on the west and the north sides...[Continued].
The Anastasian Wall
In 2000 we carried out a brief survey with a total station of the submerged jetty or ‘liman' at the south end of the Anastasian Wall. With the advice of Professor Nergis Gunsenin, and with the practical help of Evren Türkmenoðlu we were able to investigate these remains off the Altinorak beach. The underwater survey confirmed the basic V-shaped outline of the feature extending 200 m at right angles to the shore line....[Continued]
Water Supply System
Fieldwork on the water supply system was limited to revisiting Pýnarca and to sites located in the villages of Belgrat and Ciftlikköy....[Continued]
Professor Michel Kaplan, Paris
(with M.-F. AUZÉPY and J.-P. GRÉLOIS) survey of monasteries of Bithynia known by the text but not precisely localised; started in 2004; due to go on 2005. Some interesting finds already.
James Crow: Water Supply of Byzantine Istanbul Project, September 2004
During the first week we were concerned to resolve outstanding problems relating to the channels and aqueduct bridges located in the western part of the system between Binkilic (Çatalca), Safaalan (Saray) and Çakili (Vize). The first of these to be investigated was the ruined bridge over the Gökcesu (Çeçen K5), a tributary of the Ergene. The bridge had been visited in previous years, but there remained questions about the relative dating of the pair of narrow channels visible in the part of the bridge that remains on the east side of the stream....[continued]
Ken Dark and Ferudun Özgümüs: Istanbul Rescue Archaeological Survey 2004
The Istanbul Rescue Archaeological Survey, co-directed by Dr Ken Dark (The University of Reading) and Dr Ferudun Özgümüs (Istanbul University), was established to record Byzantine and earlier material at risk of damage or destruction in the western part of the area within the fifth-century and later walls of Byzantine Constantinople (see BBBS 25 1998, 26 1999, 28 2001, 29 2002, 30 2003).
The project was brought to an end in July 2004 with a final season examining the districts of Deniz Ardal, Seyit Ömer, Eregli, Ibrahim Cavus, Melek Hatun and Beyazit Aga, to the west of our 2003 area. Limited work was also undertaken in Yedikule in the southwest of the Byzantine city....[continued]
Bayliss and James Crow : The
Water Supply of Constantinople 2003
Our aims in the 2003 field season were to investigate
in greater detail three distinct elements of the Byzantine water-supply
system in Thrace. Our research over recent seasons has enabled us
to review and reassess earlier interpretations of the complex pattern
of aqueducts and water channels still extent in the countryside to
the west of Istanbul....[continued].
Ken Dark and Ferudun Özgümüs: Istanbul
Rescue Archaeological Survey 2003
In 2003, the project focussed on many of the smaller districts in this part of
the city: Fatma Sultan, Arpaemini, Ördek Kasap, Molla Seref, Murat Pasa,
Inebey, Yali, Çakiraöa, Kürkçübasi, Kasapilyas,
Cerrahpasa and Nevbahar. This area has some of the largest open spaces remaining
inside the city walls, as it contains several large modern hospitals with extensive
grounds and the market gardens and large commercial carparks around the former
Richard Bayliss and James
Crow : The Water Supply of
This research project, incorporating fieldwork as a major
component, seeks to advance our understanding of urbanism in
Constantinople throughout its history by investigating the
provisions for water supply. Completed by the
in AD 373 and supplemented by additional channels in the 5th-6th centuries,
this is the longest known Roman water supply system, the main
branch from Vize being in excess of 250km. Archaeological and
hydrogeological research is being carried out on the channels
and bridges outside the city and the cisterns and reservoirs
within. In September 2002 we undertook our second full season
of fieldwork on the aqueducts outside the city, in addition
to a short investigation of the city's cisterns earlier in
click for detailed report
Ken Dark and Ferudun Özgümüş:
Istanbul Rescue Archaeological Survey 2002
Istanbul Rescue Archaeological Survey, co-directed by Dr Ken Dark
(The University of Reading)
and Dr Ferudun Özgümüş (Istanbul University),
seeks to record Byzantine or pre-Byzantine material at risk
of damage or destruction in the western part of the walled
area of Byzantine Constantinople (see BBBS 25 1998,
26 1999 and 28 2001). In 2002, the project focussed on the
districts of Sofular, Iskender Paşa, Edirnekapı and
Sarigüzel, immediately south of our 2001 area. A small
contiguous zone between the Byzantine church of St Saviour
in Chora (the Kariye Museum) and the Theodosian land walls
was also examined in 2002. New material was recorded
at many sites.
click for detailed report
Christopher Lillington-Martin: BIAA
Travel Grant Report
The reasons for my wanting to visit Turkey were related
to my current research for my higher degree. My research interests
are the military and political history of the Eastern Roman
Empire, especially Justinian's defence policy and the career
of his leading general, Belisarius, and those of other military
leaders. One element that I intend to emphasise in my PhD thesis
is the role of Belisarius in influencing Justinian’s
sixth century military building strategy.
I am particularly interested in gathering material to
compare Justinianic fortifications in different parts of the
empire (e.g. Eastern Turkey, Greece and North Africa) with
archaeological remains in Italy. It was therefore important
for me to familiarise myself with Justinianicarchitecture in
eastern Turkey as a starting point.
click for detailed report
James Crow, Richard Bayliss and Paolo Bono: The Water Supply of
In September 2001 we undertook our first full season of fieldwork on
the water supply system of Constantinople. Our previous investigations
of the aqueduct bridges and water channels in Thrace had taken place
as peripheral activities to our primary focus on the Anastasian Wall
(1994-2000). For the first time we were therefore able to conduct a
systematic enquiry of the system both inside the city and along its
route through Thrace. In the light of this more focussed methodology
it was almost inevitable that we would challenge our existing hypotheses
on the configuration of the system. As the fieldwork progressed, our
revision of the working hypotheses enabled an increasingly compelling
model of the system to evolve, which saw the system as more vast and
more complex than anyone had previously imagined.......[continued]
Ken Dark and Ferudun Özgümüs, Rescue archaeology
in Istanbul, 2001
The rescue archaeology programme for the walled area of Byzantine Constantinople
reported in BBBS 25 and 26 (the Istanbul Rescue Archaeological
Survey) continued in 2001, after a year-long pause to analyse data resulting
from the 1998 and 1999 seasons in the districts of Ayvansaray, Balat,
Kocamustafapasa and Yedikule.......[continued]
Dr. Vera Bulgurlu participated
in the St. Nicolas Church excavation in Demre, Antayla region under the
leadership of Professor Yildiz Ötüken. The foundations of the monastic
buildings at the back of the Church are slowly emerging. The work is difficult
as six metres of mud have to be removed first. There are many small finds.
The work will continue in September 2001. She also studied a group of
Byzantine lead seals at the Afyon Museum which she hopes to present at
the Paris conference and to eventually publish.
Dr. Frank Kolb: Kyaneai, Lycia
Dr. Michael Altripp writes: Under the direction of Dr.
Frank Kolb, professor of Ancient History at the University of Tübingen,
a survey has been carried out in the region around Kyaneai in Lycia during
the last ten years. This project has been sponsored by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.
I have been taking part during the last three compaigns and I have taken
over the task to deal with the Early Christian and Byzantine churches
in that region. A second survey has started last year under the direction
of Privatdozent Dr. Michael Zimmermann (University of Tübingen as well)
who will investigate the relation between Phellos on the one side and
Teimousa on the other side with their hinterlands. In connection with
this survey, I will prepare a publication of the Early Christian and Byzantine
churches as well.
Crow And Richard Bayliss:
The Anastasian Wall and the Water Supply of Constantinople Survey 2000
July 2000 we continued the archaeological survey of the Anastasian
Wall in Thrace and the Byzantine water supply system of Constantinople.
This was our seventh season on the Wall and the emphasis of the
fieldwork will now shift more emphatically to the Byzantine water
supply system, with full publication of the results from the Anastasian
Wall Project expected in 2001. Work focussed on three principal areas during the three-week
southern end of the Anastasian Wall west of Silivri.
area of the Büyük Bedesten Wall fort in the central sector.
Fildamı open-air reservoir in Bakırkoy outside the Theodosian
Land Walls of the city.
click for detailed report
James Crow and Richard Bayliss: Anastasian Wall Project 1999
sixth season of fieldwork on the Anastasian Wall and Byzantine water
supply system of Constantinople. Survey was carried out on
the two surviving "giants" of the system; the Aqueduct
of Valens inside the city and the Kurşunlugerme in
the forests of Thrace. On the Anastasian Wall we were able to identify
the remains of the Wall's southern end as it extended into the sea
Ken Dark and Ferudun Özgümüs: Rescue
Archaeology in Istanbul, 1999
The rescue archaeology project reported in BBBS 25
(1999), 36-41, undertook a second season of work within the historic
core of Istanbul. In 1999 the project concentrated on the north-west
of the area inside the Byzantine walls, investigating sites in
the districts of Ayvansaray and Balat. Further work was also undertaken
in Yedikule and Koca Mustafa Pasa, in the south-west of the city.
Dr. M. Mango: Catalogue of Late Antique and Byzantine Antiquities in the Ashmolean Museum
Initiated with a grant from the Getty Trust, a comprehensive catalogue is being prepared of the Ashmolean Museum's Byzantine and related collections extending chronologically from Late Roman gold glass, through Byzantine medieval metalware, ceramics, etc., to 19th-century Greek and Russian icons. The material will be divided into 4 volumes: 1. Metalware, 2. Jewellery and Gems, 3. Ceramics and Glass, 4. Painting and Sculpture. Compositional analyses by J. Henderson, C. Mortimer and P. Northover will be included.
Georges Tchalenko Archive Project
Institute of Archaeology, Oxford
The Tchalenko Archive housed in the Institute of Archaeology contains the working notes, drawings, maps, up to 20,000 photographs and other papers of Georges Tchalenko who worked on Late Roman/Early Byzantine settlements and architecture in the archaeologically rich area of northern Syria for over 40 years. Much of this material was digitized and a database set up with the help of a grant made jointly to this and the Creswell Archive (Ashmolean Museum) by the Research and Equipment Committee (Oxford) in 1994. A new grant made by the same committee in 2000 and the provision of a new computer by the Committee for Byzantine Studies enabled the digitized Tchalenko material to be transferred to improved software so that the archive may finally be consulted on computer for research purposes. Further funding obtained (summer 2001) from sources at Oxford and abroad has provided for work concentrated on the database.
Laskarina Bouras Archive
Institute of Archeology, Oxford
Thanks to a grant from the A.G. Leventis Foundation, Paris, Dr. Maria Parani has complied an inventory of research materials on Byzantine metalwork left unpublished by the late Laskarina Bouras of the Benaki Museum in Athens. These papers are now housed in the Classics Centre, Oxford. They included a draft text by Dr. Bouras on Early Byzantine lighting devices featured in an exhibition in Washington, DC, which has been prepared for publication and is now undergoing final editing.