Crow, Richard Bayliss and Paolo Bono
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. Archaeological and hydrogeological research is being carried out on the channels, bridges, tunnels and spring sources outside the city and the cisterns and reservoirs within. Completed by Valens in AD 373 and supplemented by additional channels in the 5th century, this is the longest known Roman water supply system, the main branch from Vize being in excess of 250km.
In September 2001 we undertook our first full season of fieldwork on the water supply system. 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.The Two Systems
The essence of our working model for the system, as emphasised in interim reports prior to 2001 was as follows (see Crow, J. and Ricci, A.  ‘Investigating the hinterland of Constantinople: interim report on the Anastasian Wall Project’, Journal of Roman Archaeology 10, 235-62):
- The 4th century ‘Valens’ supply line was a broad (1.6m) channel with a primary source beyond Vize.
- This was supplemented in the 5th century by a narrow-gauge (1m) channel running from a closer source in a catchment area known locally as Papu. This channel ran at a higher level, parallel to the earlier channel for around 20km in the central hills of Thrace. It is associated with the best preserved surviving bridges, often built downstream from the bridges of the earlier channel, as was found at Kursunlugerme.
The principal revision to this hypothesis is that we now believe that the 4th-century “Valens” system was more likely to be the “high-level” narrow channel. There are several good reasons for reaching this conclusion, largely based on comparative observations made between proximate bridges and channels on the two systems. Hence the 5th-century addition to the system was probably the lower broad channel. Furthermore our observations suggest that the 4th-century ‘Valens’ system in fact drew water from both major catchments, i.e. that the full western extent of the system as we know it was already achieved in this primary phase. This is suggested by the discovery of narrow and broad channels on both major branches. The broader channel therefore represents a massive supplement to the supply line.
The main emphasis for detailed survey this season was in the Kursunlugerme valley and in particular on the principal surviving aqueduct bridge. Using a Trimble DR200+ Reflectorless Total station we produced an accurate plan, a detailed elevation of the east facade and a section through the bridge.The Forest of Belgrade
Preliminary reconnaissance on the Ottoman aqueducts near Kemerburgaz yielded some significant results. Both of the principal aqueducts visited, the Uzunkemer and the Kovukkemer, are in their present form essentially Ottoman-period structures, but the question remained as to whether these had replaced earlier Byzantine works on the same Kırkçesme line. Inspection of the lowest tier in the three-tiered Kovukkemer aqueduct, revealed substantial components of an earlier Roman or Byzantine aqueduct bridge, probably in situ, and characteristic Middle Byzantine repairs were also noted in the second tier.Cisterns and Reservoirs within the city
Three days late in September were spent studying the major open-air reservoirs of the city, the Aetius, the Aspar and the Mocius. This continued the work begun in 2000 with our detailed survey of the Fildamı reservoir outside the city near Bakırköy (Anatolian Archaeology 6, 16-8). A number of brick stamps were identified in the Aspar and the Mocius and both structures showed evidence of secondary redevelopment, attributable archaeologically to the Middle Byzantine period.Evcik Kilise
Early in 2001, treasure hunters had caused extensive damage to the Church of St George at Evcik, a site surveyed in 1995 as part of our investigations on the Anastasian Wall. As a result we spent a day there, early in September, to assess the damage and to record what had been revealed, which included a cistern beneath the narthex. In the process of illicit excavation, the treasure-hunters had also exposed a substantial block bearing a long inscription, which was found on the site by Alessandra Ricci in May 2001. The block had originated in the Anastasian Wall and had presumably been relocated for the 10th-century construction of the church. To date, this is the only known inscription from the Wall. Transportation to the Istanbul Archaeological Museum was arranged and in September we were permitted to spend some time studying the Greek text. The inscription records restorations to the Wall during the reign of Heraclius (610-41) and full publication will be proceed in due course, in collaboration with the museum.Acknowledgements
Once again it is our pleasure to record our thanks to the General Directorate of Ancient Monuments and Museums for granting permission to continue our research. The substantial progress made on our fieldwork this year was made possible by our most excellent Temsilci, Nilufer Aydin from the Istanbul Archaeological Museum, who was incredibly helpful in all logistical matters and met every physical and linguistic challenge with unprecedented good cheer. We are also glad to thank Emel Ballık from the Kocaeli Archaeological Museum who also joined for a short period. At the Istanbul Archaeological Museum we were kindly received and assisted by the director Dr Halil Özek, Sumerianologist Dr Veysel Dombaz and archaeologist Dr Turan Gökyıldırım. We also would wish to thank Dr Ferudun Özgümüs for sharing his time with us in Istanbul.
Funding this year was gratefully received from the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara, the Arts and Humanities Research Board and the Leverhulme Trust. We thank all responsible for their continued support. In addition to the authors and representatives, the team in 2001 was made up with post-graduate students in archaeology, Byzantine history, geology and hydrogeology from the Universities of Newcastle, Queen’s Belfast, Aberdeen and La Sapienza (Rome).