|previous article in this issue|
Document Details :
Title: A Place on the Fringe of Sagalassos
Subtitle: The Excavations at the Rock Sanctuary
Author(s): TALLOEN, Peter , BES, Philip , ALBAYRAK, Mücella , DE CUPERE, Bea , VAN DE VIJVER, Katrien , POBLOME, Jeroen
Volume: 46 Date: 2020
The so-called Rock Sanctuary, a distinctive limestone rock outcrop with natural cavities situated in the periphery of the Pisidian city of Sagalassos (SW-Turkey), was a natural feature that was served a variety of functions throughout its history. Rescue excavations carried out at the site mainly yielded evidence for the deposition of specialised offerings in the form of ceramic, glass, metal and stone vessels, pieces of personal adornment, instruments for textile production, but especially many thousands of fragments of terracotta figurines. All of these identified RS as a ‘special-purpose site’, a natural landform that was given a cultural significance, not by means of monumentalisation but through the activities that took place there during the Hellenistic and Roman Imperial periods. It was the combination of all these objects as a whole and the very context in which these were used and placed that made it possible to identify the site as a sanctuary, more particularly, a site of popular worship. This paper presents an overview of those excavations, highlighting the significance of this site in the landscape of Sagalassos and what it can tell us about the community that conceived it and used it as a cult site, outside of the sphere of official religious practice. RS thus offered a unique glimpse into an aspect of ancient life not previously known from Sagalassos.