Pessinus (Turkey): historical and archaeological research (2007-2012)

Pessinus -Remains of the Roman temple
Pessinus -Remains of the Roman temple
The Ghent University field operations on the ancient town of Pessinus in Central Anatolia, with as main studied structures a monumental Roman temple complex, a series of Roman cemeteries and an early Byzantine fortress, began in 1967 under Prof. Pieter Lambrechts and were completed in 2009 under Prof. John Devreker, who led the project since 1987. Since 1990, under the coordination of Prof. Frank Vermeulen and Prof. Morgan De Dapper also regular campaigns of field survey were organized in the wider territory of the city, with important results for the Phrygian and Roman occupation of the landscape near the Dyndimos Mountain. In recent years, the results of the large-scale excavations around the Roman temple complex were studied by Dr. A. Verlinde, allowing for important contributions for the study of Roman architecture in Asia Minor.

The overall aim of the excavations, surveys and historical investigations in and around the core of the Anatolian city were to reconstruct the urban development, particularly between 700 BC. and 1100 AD. Special attention was paid to the evolution of the cult of the Anatolian mother goddess Cybele. A multidisciplinary approach was used to answer a series of questions that are part of larger research strategies of the archaeology of Asia Minor and other parts of the ancient world, particularly on the Hellenization and Romanization of Anatolia, the introduction of the Imperial cult in Asia Minor, the urban-rural relationship in Antiquity and the transformation of urban life during the early Byzantine period.

Detailed information about the project can be found on the website of the Pessinous Excavations Project.


Prof Dr Frank Vermeulen