Overview of the 2009 season
The Canadian Epigraphic Mission in Xanthos-Letoon carried out its seventh survey campaign from July 27th to August 5th. The team was led as usual by P. Baker and G. Thériault and included also M. Rocheleau, a photographer and PhD student at Laval University. This summer’s campaign inaugurated a third triennium (2009–2012) supported by a new grant from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
In the first several days our efforts were mostly spent on resuming our prospection inside the walls of Xanthos, a task which is now nearing completion, and in examining the inscriptions unearthed by the French team of archaeologists during the summer 2008 campaign and in 2009 before our arrival. From the southern wall the prospected area went northward as far as about 10 meters south of the Civic Basilica, thereby covering much of the central area of the city.
We used the last three days of the campaign for the prospection of the archaeological site at Aklar, a village called by the name of Asarcık on maps. This is a small mountain settlement on the north-eastern edge of the territory of Xanthos, lying over the foot-hills which form a boundary to the valley of the Xanthus River (Esen Çay). There are some interesting though rather modest remains from different periods : a funerary pillar bearing traces of an Hellenistic inscription, tombs and sacorphagi which probably belong to the imperial period, and two small late-imperial churches. We applied our usual prospection method, which is to start with a survey of the terrain and examine the stones lying on the ground. This task was rather difficult because of an abundance of surface material, but worthwhile since we recorded six new inscriptions; a few of these are particularly interesting.
18 new inscriptions and fragments were found, but none which were already published in TAM. The breakdown is as follows:
- 5 honorary bases;
- 3 epitaphs;
- 1 list of benefactors (6 inscribed surfaces over two segments of pillars)
- 1 graffito;
- 1 inscriptio incerta;
- 7 uncategorized fragments.
Since the beginning of our prospection in 2000, and by the end of the 2009 campaign, we have discovered and catalogued a total of 348 new inscriptions. Taking into account the fact that a few documents had previously been recorded twice while some other fragments were glued back together, there is now a total of 415 documents which were revised and catalogued; beside the 348 new texts, another 67 were published in TAM (out of the 134 texts in that collection).
Description of the surveyed sectors
The following sectors were surveyed in 2009:
- central area intra muros: from the southern wall, moving northward as far as about 10 meters before reaching the Civic Basilica;
- territory of Xanthos: first prospection at Aklar (Asarcık), a small mountain settlement on the north-eastern limit of the territory of Xanthos.
Survey reports 2009 : Forthcoming.