Aphrodisias Regional Survey


Aphrodisias is one of the most important archaeological sites of the Greek and Roman periods in Turkey, famous in antiquity for its sanctuary of Aphrodite and its virtuoso sculptors. Excavations at Aphrodisias have been carried out by New York University since 1961 and have revealed an unusually well-preserved and picturesque ancient town, which makes an indelible impression on visitors and brings the civic culture of the Graeco-Roman world vividly to life.

Until recently, however, modern knowledge of ancient Aphrodisias extended only as far as the city’s fortification walls. Very little attention had been paid to the monuments outside the gates—beginning with the suburban roads and cemeteries—or to the study of the relationship between the urban settlement and its rural environs. Although the excavations had revealed one of the world’s best-preserved ancient cities, important questions about the history of the city had remained unanswered.

The Aphrodisias Regional Survey was begun in 2005 in order to investigate the interaction between human habitation and the natural environment in an 800-square-kilometer area around Aphrodisias from prehistory to the present day, especially in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Major fieldwork combining intensive and non-intensive archaeological survey and geological and geographical investigation was completed in 2009. Approximately 700 archaeological points of interest have been recorded and entered into a Geographical Information System (GIS), including tombs, farmsteads and settlements, caves, wine and olive oil presses, quarries, aqueducts and cisterns, rural sanctuaries and churches, and a network of fortified citadels and hilltop watchtowers. The work has been sponsored by New York University and the University of Michigan, with major financial support from the Leon Levy Foundation.

The excavations at Aphrodisias have made significant contributions to the history of the ancient Mediterranean city. Regional survey has extended our knowledge of the site in both time and space--providing new information about Aphrodisias and environs before and after the heyday of the city and illuminating the interaction between town and countryside in numerous ways.

The results of the Aphrodisias Regional Survey have been published in C. Ratté and P.D. De Staebler, eds., Aphrodisias V. The Aphrodisias Regional Survey (Verlag Philipp von Zabern: Darmstadt/Mainz, 2012). The purpose of the present collection is to provide electronic access to: (1) the entire catalogue of archaeological points of interest recorded by the survey; the complete photographic archive; high-resolution scans of all the hand-drawn architectural drawings; high-resolution versions of all the digital maps and plans; (2) the entire catalogue of all the contexts targeted for systematic collection of surface finds; and (3) the entire intensive (transect) survey database, including all the data recorded for each subtransect of the survey. For an explanation of the organization of the databases and of the basic survey methods, see Aphrodisias V, pages 16-21.

The main survey database (1) may be accessed from this page. It consists of individual records for each archaeological point of interest, with thumbnail links to relevant images, together with individual records for each of the maps summarizing the results of the survey. The maps may be found by searching for the word “Map” in the title of the record. The context (2) and transect (3) databases may be downloaded by clicking on the following links: Aphrodisias Regional Survey Context Database and Aphrodisias Regional Survey Transect Database.

Recent Deposits

View more