A New Discovery from Paphlagonia: The Cross-in-Square Planned Building in Hadrianopolis Citadel (First Results)Ercan Verim
Hadrianopolis is an important Southern Paphlagonian ancient city within the borders of Eskipazar district of Karabük. As a result of the excavations that have been going on since 2003, the ruins of seven buildings, date to the Early Byzantine period were discovered in the city. The one of them called as The Cross-in-Square Planned Building in Hadrianopolis Citadel, is also the subject of this article. Its location, architectural characteristics and findings indicate that it was an administrative or military building. Its construction has been completed in two stages, the first construction was in the Roman period, probably around the 2nd-3rd century AD. and it was destroyed at the beginning of the Early Byzantine period between the 4th and 5th centuries and rebuilt with the cross-in-square plan. The cross-in-square plan was common in Byzantine architecture mostly in religious buildings such as churches, martyrium and mausoleums. The cross-in square planned building adressed in this article had an administrative or military function. Besides the rarity of its type of plan in the Early Byzantine period, its military or administrative function makes it more particular as a cross-in-squared planned building of this era. In this study, the history, architectural characteristics and findings of the building were explained in detail, and suggestions about its function were presented and the importance of the building in Byzantine architecture is tried to be emphasized.
Paphlagonia’dan Yeni Bir Keşif: Hadrianopolis İç Kalesi’ndeki Kare İçinde Haç Planlı Yapı (İlk Tespitler)Ercan Verim
Hadrianopolis, Karabük’ün Eskipazar ilçesi sınırlarındaki önemli bir Güney Paphlagonia kentidir. 2003 yılından beri süregelen kazı çalışmalarıyla, kentte hepsi Erken Bizans Dönemi’ne tarihlendirilen yedi yapı ortaya çıkarılmıştır. Bunlardan biri de bu çalışmanın konusu olan ve Hadrianopolis İç Kalesi’ndeki Kare İçinde Haç Planlı Yapı olarak adlandırılan yapıdır. Epigrafik
kaynakların eksikliği ve kazı çalışmalarındaki buluntuların yetersizliği, yapının kim tarafından, hangi tarihte yaptırıldığı veya hangi işlevde kullanıldığı konusunda net bilgiler verilmesini engellemektedir. Bulunduğu konum, mimari özellikleri ve buluntular, idari veya askerî işlevli bir yapı olduğuna işaret etmektedir. Yapının iki farklı inşa evresi bulunmaktadır. İlk olarak
Roma Dönemi’nde, muhtemelen 2.-3. yüzyıl civarında inşa edilmiş, Erken Bizans Dönemi başlarında büyük ihtimalle 4.-5. yüzyıl arasında yıkılmış ve kare içinde haç planlı olarak yeniden yapılmıştır. Kare içinde haç plan, Bizans mimarlığında daha çok kilise, martyrium ve mausoleum gibi dinî işlevli yapılarda uygulanmıştır. Bu yayında tanıtılan kare içinde haç planlı yapı
ise idari veya askerî işlevlidir. Erken Bizans Dönemi’ne tarihlenen az sayıdaki kare içinde haç planlı yapılardan biri olmasının yanında, idari veya askerî işlevli yapıda bu plan tipinin uygulanması, yapıyı Bizans mimarlığı içerisinde önemli kılmaktadır. Bu çalışmada, yapının tarihi, mimari özellikleri ve buluntuları detaylı şekilde açıklanarak işlevine dair öneriler sunulmuş ve yapının Bizans mimarlığındaki önemi vurgulanmaya çalışılmıştır.
Hadrianopolis is an important Paphlagonian city, located in Eskipazar district of Karabük, in the Western Black Sea region. Although archaeological data show that the settlement in Hadrianopolis dates back to the Chalcolithic Age, Hadrianopolis gained city status during the Roman period. Calamities such as wars or earthquakes that occured in the Late Antiquity, probably around the 3rd-4th centuries, caused massive damage in the city, and Hadrianopolis was rebuilt at the beginning of the Early Byzantine period. As an outcome of the excavations that have been going on since 2003, the ruins of seven buildings, date to the Early Byzantine period were discovered in the city borders. The one of them called as The Cross-in-Square Planned Building in Hadrianopolis Citadel, is also the subject of this article. It was discovered for the first time during archaeo-geophysical studies carried out in 2013. During the studies in 2013, it was concluded that the building was designed with cross-in-square plan, and it was suggested that it possibly functioned as a martyrium or mausoleum, based on that some tombs of Early Byzantine period such as the martyrium were constructed with the cross-in-square plan. Scientific excavations started in 2020, and the building was uncovered in 2022 completely. The lack of epigraphic resourches and insufficiency of the findings recovered in the excavations, prevent us to access exact information about when and by whom it was built, and for what was its function.
The building, located in the north-east of Hadrianopolis Citadel, is largely in destroyed. It’s not possible to access detailed information about the first phase of the building. The ruins deducted as from the first phase are the blocks found between the north, east and west cross arms and in the northeast room. The blocks discovered on the floor of building are placed parallel to each other so as to form a channel. The recovered ruins prevent us to attain exact information about its function in the first phase. The fact that there is a channel with its blocks water flew through, suggests that the building was a latrina in the Roman period. Probably there were some wooden arrangements above the channel and so it was served as a latrina. Considering the stratigraphy of the excavation area, it can be said that the construction of the building was around the 2nd-3rd century AD.
The building, which was reconstructed in the Early Byzantine period, was designed as cross-in-square plan in this phase. However its impossible to determine the exact time of this transformation of the main plan, it can be argued, based on the findings discovered during the excavations and the stratigraphy of the area, that the building was rebuilt with cross-in-sqaure plan as a conclusion of the designation of a new purpose to it, around the 4th-5th century. The building has a square plan, measuring 16,75 x 16,55 meter from the outside, and has a cross-in-square plan inside, which measures 14,60 x 14,40 meter. The building contains four rectangular cross arms point to the north, south, east and west, and also quadrangular rooms in different sizes in its four corners. At the intersection of the cross arms, there is a rectangular center, measuring 5,60 x 5,30 meter, which seems to be most important part of the building, and reached through the arms of the cross. In order to emphasize the importance of the central part, arched transitions rising on rectangular shaped pillars were constructed in the places that provide the transition from the cross arms to the central part.
The cross-in-square plan was commonly applied in the religious buildings such as churches, baptisterium, mausoleum and martyrium in Byzantine architecture. Although it has cross-in-square plan, the building in question doesn’t have religious function. The findings discovered during the excavations don’t provide a definite information about the function, but give clues which indicate that it was a building with civil, military and administrative purpose. Firstly, the building is located in the citadel, indicates that it was a military building for the first time. The findings such as pieces of armor probably of a soldier or high-ranking official, perhaps an administrator, and an iron mask belonging to a cavalry, suggest a possible military purpose for the building. The facts that it was a sheltered building with a few doors, and contains many pithos and mortars, found in the northwest room, possibly for storing food, indicate
that the building might have been used as a horreum. Horreums of Late Antiquity, where grain and rations were stored, were usually located in the central areas of cities.
These buildings had a few doors and windows and protected by soldiers to ensure the safety of the materials and food stored inside. When its location, architectural characteristics
and findings recovered from the excavations were taken in consideration all together, it is reasonable to argue that it was a horreum. A lead weight found in the southern cross arm inside the building, also provides clues go along with the argument above. There is an inscription of a phrase on the front face of the weight, may be read as the name Theodoros, who was probably the official responsible for treasury affairs of the Byzantine empire. Although it is not clearly evident because of the conditions of the inscriptions, it can be presumed that Theodoros was the official with the title of “comes sacrarum largitionum”. It is arguable that Theodoros had sent this weight to an officer probably with title of horreiarios or kommerkiarios in charge of building, so that he could carry out his civic duty in Hadrianopolis properly. All this data are also go along with the argument that the building had been used an administrative or commercial building.
These study presents the architectural characteristics of the building in detail, and through the discussion emphasizing its plan, tries to explain and determine its importance in Byzantine architecture. It also takes the findings discovered during the excavations, the location of the building and its architectural characteristics into consideration and evaluated together, and finally offer some suggestions regarding its function, because it hasn’t been clearly detected yet.