Kibyratis (Turquie) :Archaeologists find Roman emperor's 1,900-year-old summer home

Finding the archaic settlement
As a city, Kibyra goes back millennia, but it only became an important regional trading hub after the Roman conquest of the region in the 1st century C.E..
Writing during the reign of Emperor Augustus around 2,000 years ago, the geographer Strabo mentions Kibyra specifically, “which could provide 30,000 foot-soldiers and 2,000 horsemen" (Strabo, Geography, 13.4).

3196774641Lydian tomb in the Kabalis with relief of a lion, Archaic period - Oliver Hülden / ÖAW-ÖAI7
Austrian scholars have also identified the archaic-classical pre-settlement dating to the 7th and 6th centuries B.C.E. This town was situated about 10 km from the later Hellenistic city on a small peninsula of Lake Gölhisar. At this time, the land was called Kabalis and belonged to the southern periphery of the Lydian empire, which was ruled by the legendary king Croesus. (It is not rare for cities to “move.”)
3754114121Studying pottery fragments found at Asar Tepe, close to the Turkish village Sazak - Oliver Hülden
A still open question to archaeological purists is whether there was rural pottery production in Asia Minor. It sounds trivial, but actual factories have been hard to pin down.
Clearly pottery was being made in the city of Kibyra itself, and at Sagalassos, 100 kilometers away. Otherwise, rural potters were unmentioned and unfound, barring a 2nd century C.E. inscription uncovered in Lycia, a region to the south of the Kibyratis.

2845974903Remains of a pottery kiln by Asar Tepe: Rare evidence of industrial-scale pottery-making in ancient Asia Minor. - Oliver Hülden
However, at the foot of Asar Tepe, a small hill that belonged at least in part to the Calpurnii estate, the researchers found a surprisingly high concentration of fragmented ceramic vessels, along with the remains of around a dozen ovens. They were so ruined that their function could only be deduced based on traces of fire and residues – and the large number of pottery shards. They had to have been kilns.

3993131943Survey on Asar Tepe: At least part of this belonged to the Calpurnii estate. Here the remains of pottery production were found. - Oliver Hülden
In addition, the remains of "mold bowls" were discovered, which were used to make ceramic vessels with low-relief designs impressed onto the interior surface. Clearly ceramics were being produced in the countryside of Kibyra in connection with one of the rural estates – and not only cooking ware but fine tableware.
The fields at the foot of the hill are still in use, and probably then also produced grain, olives and wine. The Romans were also making wine, going by the sheer number of press weights the archaeologists found in the region.
The agricultural produce was probably both sold locally and exported. In fact, the Roman economy was based on agriculture and most of the rural estates in the Empire served for this purpose. At the Calpurnii estate, they combined their mixed farming with pottery production.
Protected by Cybele

597106055Stelai belonging to the rural sanctuary, Limyra Oliver Hülden, ÖAW-ÖAI

The evidence the archaeologists found for animal husbandry consists of farmsteads with ring walls, obviously built as corrals for sheep or goats. Near one of them a rock-cut relief of the goddess Cybele seated on a throne was discovered by the researchers.
A second relief shows a man, wearing a specific coat of the local shepherds, attacked by a wolf. Evidently the man survived this attack and subsequently dedicated the reliefs to the goddess in thanks for her ostensible protection.
While Marcus Calpurnius Longus went on a lucky hunt for ibices in the mountains of the Kibyratis, at about the same time, a shepherd celebrated his lucky escape from wolves in the same area. Neither probably thought that some 2,000 years, later archaeologists and ancient historians would be puzzling over the reconstruction of their rural lives.
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2495744199Drawing of a mold bowl fragment, Kibryatis Drawing by K. Kugler/ picture editing by N. Gail