Saturday, December 21, 2019

The Conservation Zone at Küçükdalyan

This neighbourhood has been declared to be a "First Degree" Archaeological Conservation Zone under Turkish law. This means that this area should be left as it is in the municipality's construction plans. And there cannot be any excavations except for scientific purposes. (It should not be forgotten that in Turkey, with the approval of the local museum, one can make private excavations. This law forbids these kind of excavations in said areas).

The details of this law may be found here:

Below can be seen a map of the current protection zone covering the area known as Küçükdalyan is the modern neighborhood that consists in the northern part of the modern day Antioch.

In modern times this is the neighbourhood that covers the excavation of the Podium Temple and excavation of Hippodrome. It also has Antioch Mosaic Museum and Saint Peter's museum within it. 

When you consider Ancient Antioch, it's the place where the island, temple, the Beroea Gate and almost all of the Northern walls. If we look at the borders of it, we can see on the West side, the Orontes is delimiting all of the zone and some part to the North. At the East almost whole of the Mount Staurin is the border. The southern border runs along the course of the Parmenius river until it's meeting point with the Orontes. 

Contributed by Nazmi KAPBAŞ

The "Big" Temple and Recent Works Upon It Ruins

One feature of the Island that the Princeton Expedition of the 1930s scarcely looked at, nor mentioned, was the "temple" site. This stood two blocks east of the hippodrome, so was very close to where they were operating. This is visible in aerial photographs from the 1920s and is shown best in the Poccardi article. Below is the map from the Poccardi work showing the temple (at letter 3).

This was a fairly massive temple with a podium measuring 107m by 71m covering two city blocks. It has been the subject of testing since at least 2008 by the only group that is currently working in the Antioch site. It stands to the East of the Hippodrome as shown in the map below:

The visible remains consist of the rubble core of the structure. We have seen no speculation on which god the temple may have been dedicated to.

A collaborator, JØRGEN CHRISTENSEN-ERNST, took the following photographs.

This last image shows the top of the podium.

In 2004, a team of archaeologists (Hatice Pamir et al.) with a geomagnetic approach visited the site. There report was as follows: "The so-called temple, the rubble core podium of which still stands at a height of 5 m, underwent a preliminary documentation. A geomagnetic survey was conducted west of the temple, on the periphery of the adjacent hippodrome, which became part of the Tetrarchic palace at Antioch in the late 3rd century. The remains of an opus caementicium wall, which once separated the Basileia from the rest of the city, was provisionally documented and so were most of the monuments registered by the American excavators".

A more extensive report was published in ANADOLU AKDENİZİ - Arkeoloji Haberleri 2016-14: News of Archaeology from ANATOLIA’S MEDITERRANEAN AREAS in an article entitled "Antakya Hipodrom ve Çevresi Kazısı - Excavations at and around the Hippodrome of Antakya authored by Hatice Pamir. In this report:

"Not investigated until today, this structure is mentioned as a temple in the excavation reports of the 1930s. First short-term geophysical surveying was done at the monument in 2011, and then in 2013 excavation and documentation started and still continues. This monument extending north to south sits parallel to the hippodrome, 160 m. to its east. What remains today from the monument are the podium and cella wall foundations of opus caementicium (roman concrete) built with pebble stones and cement mortar.

The high podium measures 109.70 m. long north to south and 75.06 m. wide east to west. The width of the peristasis is 13.70 m. on its long sides and 15.60 m. on its short sides. The cella walls are double walls extending parallel as inner and outer walls. The outer cella wall is 78.70 m. long on its long eastern and western sides while 47.90 m. wide on its short northern and southern sides. A T-shaped construction adjoined for 3.9 m. south from the middle of the northern cella wall and forms a foundation wall 18.5 m. long and 3.5 m. wide extending parallel to the cella’s northern wall. The cella was accessed from the eastern, western and southern sides. The eastern and western entrances are 5 m. wide and on the same axis, while the southern one is 6.8 m. wide.

Following the preliminary documentation, excavations were initiated at the temple carried out at the western peristasis of the podium, gates B2 and B9, the northern peristasis, and the cella.

In the northern half of the western peristasis of the podium, the western outer wall of the podium is bordered with nine blocks of opus caementicium at equal intervals from the northern corner of the north-west podium up to the west gate axis. On the outer surfaces of the blocks placed at intervals forming the podium wall are at least three rows of straight line of mold construction traces left by blocks or molds used during the construction, giving a height of 0.60 m. and 0.45 m. Regarding its construction technique, a row of pebble stones was placed regularly at the bottom, and a thick layer of cement was poured, then another row of pebble stones and again cement mortar. This continued up to the top of the mold.

In order to determine the height of the podium, a sondage measuring 1.00 x 10.80 m. was dug south of the entrance b2. At the 80.15 m. level a mortared floor was reached so the excavation was stopped. Thus, the height of the podium is 5 m. from the top level of the well-preserved block and the podium’s floor/base. On the exterior surface of the wall the courses do not look regular on the plaster but suggest an isodomic wall-facing; blocks measure on the average 0.40 x 0.60 m.

In the northern part of the western peristasis, an area 60 m. long north to south and 5 m. wide from the outer wall of the podium towards the cella was excavated.

This area contained 66 high pedestal bases includes 22 rows in north south and each row includes three pedestal in east-west, built with pebble stone and cement mortar in opus caementicium technique. The pedestal bases measure 0.70 x 0.65 m. with a height of 0.55 m. placed 0.90 m. apart (below). The bases were placed without cutting the gaps. They rest on the ground at the 83.00 m. level.

The excavation carried out in the western part of the northern peristatis. A total of 16 pedestal bases (4 rows of 4) were uncovered in an area measuring 6.50 x 13.50m. extending from the western corner of the cella wall to the outer podium wall. These well-preserved opus caementicium bases measure 0.90x1 m. with a height of 0.8 m., thus are larger than those uncovered in the western peristasis. They also built on the opus caementicium ground at the 82.90 m. level.

The ramp construction in B2 entrance and B9 entrance were excavated. They should be related to the last phase of the temple when its function was changed. Straight line traces of mortar for ashlars measuring 0.45 x 0.60 m. at the eastern end of the northern wall of Entrance B9 indicate that this face of the wall was faced with ashlars originally but later removed.

Excavations were carried out front of the T-shaped wall in the northern part of the cella, in the northern corner of inner eastern wall of the cella, and before the inner western wall of the cella in order to document the ground upon which the foundations of the cella walls.

Under the modern agricultural soil, down to 84.05 m., in a filling 1.50 m. thick were fragments of bricks, rubble, mortar and cut limestone blocks, indicating a few phases of destruction. Beneath it was loose ground with lime mortar. Further down, the pebble stone and rubble filling reaches down to the 83.20 m. level where an opus caementicium ground adjoining the cella walls was uncovered. At the northern corner of the inner western wall of the cella was a platform 2.60-2.65 m. wide at the levels of 84.10-84.00 m. It bounds north-south wall and continues into the profile. Within this platform is a channel paved with brick and bounded with stone blocks.

On the western entrance axis of the cella is an opus caementicium platform 2.60 m. wide uncovered at the 84.04 m. level and adjoining the inner wall of the cella. This one should be extension of the platform uncovered at the northern corner of the inner eastern wall of the cella.

A trench measuring 5x3.40 m. was dug west of the outer cella wall in the west peristasis. Modern agricultural soil and rubble filling were removed, and opus caementicium ground at the 82.88 m. level. This ground extends north to south as a platform 4.93 m. wide adjacent to the outer wall of the cella. Another trench measuring 6 x 2 m. was dug from the outer wall of the cella in the western peristasis, and the opus caementicium ground 5.05 m. wide extending from the cella wall to the podium platform was reached at the 82.90 m. level. Both these platforms/buttress foundations extend adjacent to the outer wall of the cella. Like the platform 2.60 m. wide uncovered at the 84.05 m. level inside the cella, it adjoins the cella wall and looks like a buttress. The podium foundation 7.60 m. wide formed by the outer blocks of buttress in the western peristasis is only 0.60 m. away from the 5.05 m.-wide buttress platform adjoining the cella wall.
This shows that the bases for the vertical elements of the temple were built individually.

For the time being there is no evidence for the superstructure of the temple except very few architectural elements. It was documented one shaft fragment of a grey granite column and two fragments of porphyry granite columns on the surface and in modern soil. It is possible that they were collected and brought the temple from the field around the temple. The temple surrounded with modern occupation houses and agricultural fields. It can be said that this structure is a podium temple of monumental size. The opus caementicium core has been preserved, and facing blocks have been documented at a few points in situ. Its height is over 10 m. including the podium and the cella walls. Its dimensions make it one of the rare monuments of this size. Its plan seems to be unique, and from the point of layout its closest parallel is the Donuktaş temple in Tarsus, which is dated to the Severan period at the end of the 2nd century A.D.

According to preliminary data, the top deposit belongs to the Islamic and Crusader cultures of the 11th-12th centuries. It is thought that the temple served for temporary accommodation thanks to its sturdy architecture during that period. Coin finds are abundant for the 3rd to 4th centuries A.D., but there is no coin from the 4th to the 11th centuries. Pottery finds include amphorae of the late 5th to 7th centuries A.D. (Fig. 5), and the metal armlet on a skeleton uncovered in the debris indicate that the structure fell down in the 6th century. Two burial were uncovered a skeleton in 2013 and another burial in 2015. It is inferred that the area served as a cemetery after the building fell out of use".

Here are a couple of plans from recent publications by Hatice Pamir: 

The plan above predates the latest works at the site but is still useful.

A Map of the Island

I came across the following map (click to enlarge):

The map was in: The Palace of Diocletian at Split - A Thesis presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School University of Missouri, Columbia by Guy Dominic Robson Sanders in August 1989 and represents a refiguring by Sanders of Downey's original. This meshes with the ideas generated by the Poccardi map here

While the map contains many details discussed by us in previous postings the layout is somewhat novel groups all the elements thus far discovered on the same map and reorients the street grid to a pseudo-north-south layout. 

The dotted line (J) is claimed to be Downey's canal with bridges and gates. Maybe Downey was not privy to the aerial views which quite clearly show the canal where the City Wall is marked. 

We remain of the persuasion that G & D are where the imperial palace was sited with a bridge to the imperial box at the Hippodrome. Maybe our eyesight is defective but we cannot see letter H (the carceres). 

The tragedy of all this is that this area is still not built over but might shortly be subject to the creeping urbanisation of Antakya. The whole area should be declared a "historic park" and would bring the area far more tourism than it currently has. 
The Palace of Diocletian at Split
A Thesis-----------------Presented tothe Faculty of the Graduate SchoolUniversity of Missouri Columbia-----------------In Partial FulfilmentOf the Requirements for the DegreeMaster of Arts-----------------By
Guy Dominic Robson Sanders

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

The Ravishing Praise of Pseudo-Hegesippus

We were perusing an article: 

"Pseudo-Hegesippus at Antioch? Testing a Hypothesis for the Provenance of the De Excidio Hierosolymitano", by Carson Bay, Florida State University in BABELAO 8 (2019), p. 97-128:

which is ostensibly about a rewrite of Josephus' Judean War but in fact has a lot to do with the supposed Antiochene origin of the mysterious Pseudo-Hegesippus. In his work, the ancient author speaks of Antioch (at 3.5.2) in glowing terms, though nothing we haven't heard from others of its native sons that sung similar praises:

"This city is held, without hesitation, to be the first, and for that reason the metropolis, of Syria, having been founded by the partisans of the warrior Alexander the Great and called by the name of its founder. The city is situated thus: spread out over an immense length, it is narrower in width, because it is bounded on the left side by the steep face of a mountain, such that the spaces of the city as measured were not able to be extended further. Necessity marked the location, because such a high mountain would provide a place to hide from the Parthians breaking in through unknown and alternate routes, from which they could pour themselves out by way of an unanticipated onset and immediate attack against an unprepared Syria, unless the city should lie before a mountain as before a bulwark and obstruct the egress of those approaching, so that if any of the barbarians should ascend, immediately he would be seen from the hollow center of the city. Eventually, they hold that, when theatrical plays were being frequented in that city, one of the farcical actors, raising his eyes to the mountain, saw the Persians arriving and immediately said: “I am either beholding a dream or a great danger. Behold: Persians!” This was possible because the mountain leaned over the city, so that not even the height of the theatre provided an impediment to seeing the mountain. A river separates it in the middle which, originating from the direction of the sun’s rising, is joined to the sea not far from the city. This river those of former times called ‘Orient’ due to the tracing of its origin, inasmuch as they [those of former times] are commonly believed to have given names to places, names which were thereafter adopted. It is from the frigid flows of this river from its very onset, and from the Zephyrs blowing constantly through it in places, that the entire city is cooled at nearly every moment, so that it has hidden the East in its eastern parts. Within it are sweet waters, and without a nearby meadow surrounded by open spaces and clusters of cypress trees, as well as productive fountains. They call it Daphne, because it never sets aside its greenery. There there exists a populus numerous and very happy that is more refined than nearly all others of the East, but nearer to licentiousness. This city, having been reckoned to hold third place of all other citizen bodies which exist in the Roman world, now holds fourth place, after the citizen body of the Byzantines has produced Constantinople, once capital of the Persians, but now a means of defense. I believe enough has been said concerning the situation of the city. For it is not seemly to delay by describing its edifices. When I spoke of the East from its back, it was clear enough that the South is situated from the left, that Europe meets it from the front, that the Northern peoples live to the right, where also the Caspian kingdoms are held, who had previously been the most inclined to make incursions into Syria. But after Alexander the Great established the Caspian Gate at a steep part of the Taurus Mountain, and closed off the way to all the peoples of the interior, he returned the famous city to peace, except perhaps when observing Persian movement".