No visit to Sagalassos would be complete without checking the Archaeological Museum at Burdur, the provincial capital. Major finds from Sagalassos are housed in this museum which is located a short drive from the site. Photos of this magnificent archaeological site were posted in part 1 and part 2 of my piece on Sagalassos.
The museum was built around the Ottoman-era Pirkulzade Library (built in 1823) and features a sculpture garden and spacious exhibit halls. In 2006, it was renovated and enlarged to house the numerous sculptural pieces found at Sagalassos. In 2008, it was awarded a special prize at the European Museum of the Year Award. In summer 2009, the monumental portrait heads of Hadrian and Marcus Aurelius, found during the 2007/2008 excavations, were installed in the museum.
The museum also houses finds from other Pisidian cities; Cremna and Kibyra. A frieze showing gladiators and scenes of hunting and taming of wild beasts, recovered from the necropolis at Kibyra, is on display as well as two stelai with gladiators. They probably belonged to a gladiator cemetery.
The ancient city of Kibyra is located near the modern town of Gölhisar, 106 km southwest of Burdur. It was the capital of a tetrapolis (with Oinoanda, Balbura and Bubon) before the area was divided between the Roman provinces of Lycia and Phrygia. Visible structures include the stadion, theatre, odeon and two agoras. This was an important iron-working area.
All the finds recovered seem to suggest that the itinerant gladiator games and wild beast fights organised in Anatolia were both popular and frequent in Kibyra.
There are also marble statues from Cremna. Like Sagalasos, Cremna was set high in the Taurus mountains. For a long time a stronghold of Hellenised Pisidians, Cremna was refounded as a veteran colony by the emperor Augustus. From the age of Hadrian until the early third century AD the colony enjoyed a boom in public buildings whose remains still adorn the site. Disaster struck in the late third century when Cremna became a centre for a regional insurrection against Roman rule. Roman forces staged a major siege of the city and recaptured it in AD 278. A bishopric in Late Antiquity, Cremna was abandoned in the sixth or seventh century.
Other highlights from the museum include reliefs of Poseidon (with trident), Zeus (with scepter) and Hercules from Sagalassos…
and finally the dancing girl reliefs taken from the Heroon on the Upper Acropolis of Sagalassos…
Further photos from the Burdur Archaeological Museum can be viewed from my image collection on Flickr.
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