Dr Ken Dark
Nazareth Archaeological Project 2009
This project, directed by Ken Dark, and funded by the Palestine Exploration Fund, Late Antiquity Research Group (LARG), and the University of Reading, was established in 2004 to investigate Roman-period and Byzantine (that is, C5-7) Nazareth and its hinterland (as reported in BBBS 31-35). Previous seasons (in 2004-8) 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, immediately next to the Church of the Annunciation in the centre of Nazareth. With the survey in the countryside completed, the 2009 season was focussed on the Sisters of Nazareth convent... [continued]
Dr Amelia R. Brown
Director, Domus Romana Melitensis Archaeological Research Project on Malta, in cooperation with Heritage Malta.
In 2009 we completed the cataloguing of the existing artifacts and excavation records of the Domus Romana, a Roman urban villa in Mdina/Rabat rebuilt in the late 19th century. In 2010 we will work towards publication of the unpublished archaeological material from the Domus, and make an application to the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage for renewing excavation in areas adjoining the rebuilt Domus.
Ken Dark (University of Reading) and Jan Kostenec (Charles University, Prague)
The Hagia Sophia Project, Istanbul: report on the 2009 season
The Hagia Sophia project, co-directed by Ken Dark and Jan Kostenec, aims at studying the church of Hagia Sophia as a cathedral complex. As such, this archaeological project aims to investigate not only on the impressive - and, of course, already extensively studied - church structure, but also the associated Byzantine buildings that once stood around it. A summary of the results of our work undertaken between 2004 and 2008 has been published in BBBS 35. [continued]
Professor John Haldon
The Avkat Archaeological project
The Avkat Archaeological Survey is a collaborative research project in north-central Anatolia, and seeks to integrate a number of different approaches to studying the past, using recent technological advances to integrate disparate datasets into a cohesive framework of analysis. The project is a diachronic survey of the region surrounding the modern village of Beyözü (also known as Avkat, and identified as ancient Euchaita,) and seeks to understand the long-term changes in landscape use and socio-economic structures found in a rural Anatolian hinterland. The project seeks to integrate traditional archaeological survey work with other disciplines into a 100% digital project incorporating large datasets both of a traditional archaeological nature, as well as non-archaeological such as large volumes of text, climatic and palynological data, and vegetational and geological classifications derived from multispectral satellite imagery. It thus involves a challenging process of integrating a complex range of datasets into a unified approach to a region, while 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 a broad range of constituencies. See website
Dr Mark Jackson
Early Byzantine Pottery Production Sites
Mark Jackson (Newcastle University), Dr Lutgarde Vandeput (BIAA), Dr Veli Köse (Hacettepe University) and Katie Green (Newcastle University).
In 2009, a team from Newcastle University under the direction of Dr Mark Jackson joined the Pisidia Survey Project directed by Dr Lutgarde Vandeput (BIAA) and Dr Veli Köse (Hacettepe University) to follow up the very important discovery made in 2008 of four sites producing pottery in Cypriot Red Slip Ware-type forms (Vandeput and Köse 2008, 33). These sites are located near Gebiz, a few kilometres from each other and ideally located for exporting their goods downstream via a tributary to the Aksu River to Perge and beyond. Our objectives were: to carry out topographical and geophysical surveys and to collect artefacts and clay samples; to record and quantify all ceramics according to forms and fabrics and finally to export samples of the ceramics and raw clay for chemical and petrological analysis so that the material could be compared against so-called CSRW types from both Cyprus and Turkey and to export fragments of kiln and pottery for thermoluminescence dating.
At Kadir Gürü Mevki, we collected, counted and weighed all ceramic material from 27 squares (5m x 5m) across the site: here table wares and basins were produced in a variety of forms including those typical of so-called CRSW. A topographical map of the site was produced and geo-referenced to magnetometer and ground penetrating radar surveys (carried out by Christina Klein, Kiel University). Kiln-shaped features identified by the magnetometer corresponded very well with wasters collected on the ground. A similar methodology was carried out at Kömbeçi where the site is built on a steep, partly wooded slope down to a stream. Clear evidence of production of tiles and table wares was found. At Cami Yıkık the majority of the site had been bulldozed to level an area for an apricot grove. But evidence of pottery dumping was visible in the exposed section to the north of the new field, and the magnetometer pinpointed the location of surviving kilns to complement the surface data. Grab-samples of wasters were collected from Çam Köyü Mahalesi.
Recent work at Perge and other sites in the region suggested that this type of pottery was being produced in Pisidia (Fırat 2000; Poblome et al. 2001). These sites certainly seem to represent part of that production operation. Chemical analysis will help us establish conclusively the relationship of this material to similar examples found in Turkey and sherds from Cyprus where no kiln sites have been found. Since table wares often represent proxy evidence for less archaeologically visible economic goods (such as grain, wine or olive oil), this discovery has huge implications for our understanding of trade in the eastern Mediterranean.
The Newcastle team was supervised by Katie Green. Students were: Liz Young, Maiju Pojhola, Shelley Dootson, Harry Heiskanen, and James Marples. The work was generously supported by The Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies and Newcastle University. We are very grateful to Dr Pamela Armstrong and Dr Robert Witcher, to Dr Vandeput and Dr Köse for the invitation to join this exciting project and for all their assistance, and to Christina Klein and her team.
Fırat, N., So-called Cypriot Red Slip Ware From the habitation area of Perge (Pamphylia) Rei Cretariae Romanae Fautorum Acta 36 (2000) 35-38.
Poblome, J, P. Degryse, D. Cottica, and N. Fırat, A new early Byzantine production centre in western Asia Minor. A petrographic and geochemical study of red slip ware from Hierapolis, Perge and Sagalassos. Rei Cretariae Romanae Fautorum Acta 37 (2001) 119 126.
Vandeput, L. and V. Köse, Pisidia Survey Project 2008: research in the territory of Pednelissos, Anatolian Archaeology 14 (2008) 32-33.
Dr Mark Jackson (Newcastle University)
Excavations at the Byzantine Rural Settlement at Kilise Tepe, Turkey 2009
Research into the Byzantine levels at Kilise Tepe, a rural settlement located in the Göksu Valley of southern Anatolia between Silifke and Mut, continued for two months in 2009 (See BBBS 35, 70-72). Excavations at Kilise Tepe carried out during the 1990s were published in 2007 - when a new campaign of excavation began at this multi-period site. The Byzantine levels are excavated under the direction of Dr Mark Jackson with Prof J.N. Postgate (Cambridge) who is concentrating on the Iron and Bronze Age levels. [continued]