Excavations have started in Sagalassos ancient city, archaeological site in southwestern Turkey, about 100 km north of Antalya, and 30 km from Burdur and Isparta.
Dr. Inge Uytterhoeven, who is the head of archeological research project in Sagalassos and a lecturer at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven in Belgium, told the AA on Monday that 51 workers as well as 75 Turkish and foreign technical personnel would work in this year's excavations.
Technical personnel are from Belgium, Turkey, Italy, Slovenia, the United States, Bulgarian and Germany, Uytterhoeven said.
The team would also focus on restoration of Fountain of Antoninus this year, she said.
In 1997, Dr. Inge Uytterhoeven started participating with the excavations at Sagalassos. After she worked one campaign on the Upper Agora North and Bouleuterion sites, she has since 1998 been supervising the excavations of the late antique urban mansion in the eastern domestic area of Sagalassos.
From October 2002 onwards she has been fully involved with the Sagalassos Archaeological Research Project as a post-doctoral researcher.
In Roman Imperial times, Sagalassos was known as the 'first city of Pisidia', a region in the western Taurus mountains, currently known as the Turkish Lakes Region. Already during the Hellenistic period, it had been one of the major Pisidian towns.
The urban site was laid out on various terraces at an altitude between 1400 and 1600 meters. After having suffered from a major earthquake in the early sixth century, the town still managed to recover, but a cocktail of epidemics, water shortages, a general lack of security and stability, a failing economy and finally another devastating earthquake around the middle of the seventh century forced the inhabitants to abandon their town and resettle in the valley.
Large-scale excavations started in 1990 under the direction of Marc Waelkens of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. A large number of buildings, monuments and other archaeological remains have been exposed, documenting the monumental aspect of the Hellenistic, Roman and early Byzantine history of this town.