Glass and Metal Finds from the Southern Basilica Excavations at PergeNurtaç Buluç
The prehistoric history of the ancient city of Perge, which was located in the territory of Pamphylia, dates back to the Late Neolithic and Chalcolithic Periods and reveals important urbanization models models during the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine eras. This article covers the glass and metal artifacts found in the Southern Basilica of Perge, as excavated by the Antalya Museum in 2016- 2017. The research, aims to determine the stylistic and functional characteristics of these glass and metal artifacts and to date them using analogical comparisons with parallel samples found in other regions. After hand and digitally drawingthe materials, they were cataloged by determining their forms, types, and functions. In light of the determined results, the study aims to answer various questions regarding the Early Byzantine period of the city and region. The study evaluates the finds examined herein alongside the social and political history of the Early Byzantine period, with the aim of providing important information about Perge’s social and economic life and of helping illuminate trade relations among the settlements. Once the metropolis of Pamphylia, in 250 AD Perge became the metropolis of the then Attaleia province (now Antalya) losing this title in the 6th century AD before moved to the city’s acropolis in the 7th century AD due to increased pressure and threats from Arabs and the Sassanid. The glass and metal finds presented within the scope of the study also contain data which support this chronology, with the majority of the finds dating back to the 5th -7th centuries AD.
Perge Güney Bazilika Kazılarında Ele Geçen Cam ve Metal BuluntularNurtaç Buluç
Pamphylia Bölgesi’nin territoriumu içerisinde yer alan Perge Antik Kenti’nin tarih öncesi geçmişi Geç Neolitik ve Kalkolitik Dönemlere kadar uzanmakta; Helenistik, Roma ve Bizans dönemlerinde önemli kentleşme modeli göstermektedir. Bu makale, Antalya Müzesi tarafından 2016-2017 yıllarında kazısı yapılan Perge Güney Bazilikası’nda ele geçen cam ve metal eserleri kapsamaktadır. Bu çalışma kapsamında, cam ve metal malzemeler içinden seçilen gruplar üslup ve işlev özellikleri saptanıp, diğer merkezlerdeki paralel örneklerle analojik olarak karşılaştırılarak değerlendirilmesi hedeflenmiştir. Malzemeler el ve dijital çizim çalışmalarının ardından form, tür ve işlevleri tespit edilerek kataloglanmıştır. Tespit edilen sonuçlar ışığında, kentin ve bölgenin Erken Bizans Dönemi’ne dair çeşitli soruları yanıtlamak amaçlanmıştır. Çalışmada incelenen buluntuların dönemin sosyal ve siyasi tarihi ile birlikte değerlendirdiğimizde, Perge’nin sosyal ve ekonomik yaşamına ilişkin önemli bilgiler sunması ve yerleşimler arasındaki ticaret ilişkilerini aydınlatmasına yardımcı olması hedeflenmiştir. M.S. 250 yılında Pamphylia’nın metropolisi olan Perge, bu ünvanını M.S. 6. yüzyılda yitirerek Attaleia vilayetinin metropolisi olmuş ve artan Arap ve Sasani baskı ve tehditlerinden dolayı M.S. 7. yüzyılda Akropolis’e taşınmıştır. Çalışma kapsamında ele alınan cam ve metal buluntular da bu kronolojiyi destekler veriler içermekte, buluntuların çoğunluğu M.S. 5.-7. yüzyıllar arasına tarihlenmektedir.
The ancient city of Perge was one of the important cities of the Pamphylia Region, and is located 18 km east of the city of Antalya and 2 km north of Aksu district’s center. As a result
of the excavations carried out in Perge’s acropolis between 1994-2004, the first settlement there was determined to dates back to the Late Neolithic and Chalcolithic Periods, with the city having hosted large settlements during the Hellenistic, Roman, and Byzantine periods. The study, examines within its scope the glass and metal artifacts found in the Southern Basilica excavations of the ancient city of Perge. The stylistic and functional features of the materials were determined and evaluated by using an analogy comparison involving parallel samples.
Around 250 AD, Perge became the metropolis of Pamphylia. Between 311-325 AD, Lycia and Pamphylia were mentioned as two separate states in the lists of the Iznik Council. Perge and Side were the two important religious centers of Pamphylia, and because they were in constant conflict with each other as churches, they started appearing as two separate metropolises in all dioceses as the Pamphylia Prima Side and the Pamphylia Secunda Perge. Toward the end of the 6th century, Perge had lost its title as a metropolis, and Attaleia took its place as the capital city and metropolis of the province. During the 7th century AD., the Byzantine Empire was affected and structurally changed. In addition to the Byzantine-Arab wars, the Byzantine- Sassanid wars and internal rebellions played a major role in the history of the region, with thepeople of Perge being moved to its acropolis in the 7th century AD.
Perge’s Southern Basilica is in the plan of a three-aisled, transept basilica. Chronologically, churches with a basilica plan or transept similar to this plan type are seen to have started appearing back in the 5th -6th century A.D. After the Southern Basilica church was completely unearthed in 2017, architectural investigations began in 2021. These investigations have concluded that no other additional structures had been built on the architectural remains since the Early Byzantine Period. The Southern Basilica was dated to the 4th century AD by Hans Rott. The examinations of the architecture and architectural plastic works, discovered dating the Southern Basilica to as early as the 4th century AD was not possible instead determining it to have likely been built around the 5th century AD, based on reasons such as no church from the 4th century AD having yet been identified at that time in the general region, as well as no solid data being found that confirm the church as early as the 4th century AD. Within the scope of the study, the article shows the glass and metal finds that were found in Perge Southern Basilica church to also contain data supporting this chronology, with most of the finds dating back between the 5th and 7th centuries AD. This article does not introduce each individual works within its scope. The entire catalog can be viewed in thesis titled “Perge Güney Bazilika Kazıları Seramik ve Diğer Buluntular” [Perge Southern Basilica Ceramics and Other Finds]. The glass works are grouped as according to function as lamps with hollow stems, goblet shaped lamps, and window glass used for lighting; inserts and ringed bases for everyday use; and beads and inlaid pieces as ornamental element. The glass materials were used over a wide period, dating from the 5th -7th centuries AD as lamps with hollow stems, between the 5th -7th centuries AD as window glass, between 5th -7th centuries AD as goblet lamps, between the 3th -7th centuries AD as ringed bases.
The metal artifacts, were found with intact forms in Perge’s South Basilica excavation, and were dated by considering their function, form, and similar examples. Forms of metal artifacts with specific functions have made precisely dating the objects difficult because they have been used for a long time. The findings have been evaluated as chains, polycandelon fragments, veneer plates, applique, hooks, needle, door bolts, clamps, locks, studs, nails, spear, stylus, rings, seals, one finger ring, one lead weight, knives, sickles, and others with with uncertain functions. A group of datable metal pieces were chosen as the subjects of this article, and these metal materials are seen to cover the 5th-7th centuries AD when compared to similar examples as well as when taking the church’s usage dates is into consideration.
Some of the artifacts found in Perge’s Southern Basilica are thought to have arrived at the church through transported soil. Other objects such as scales, weights, stylus, amphorae, and
cooking utensils are thought to have been transported to the church through the arrangements and use of the macellum during the Early Byzantine Period. The glass and metal finds from Perge’s Southern Basilica as examined within the scope of the study will contribute to the literature in this field both in terms of quality and quantity. The findings show parallel features with other materials in the Mediterranean and its surroundings will contribute to the field by shedding light on the interregional relationships of the area, as well as Perge’s Early Byzantine Period of Perge.