Sagalassos, was an ancient Roman city 110 kilometer north of today’s Antalya (ancient Attaleia), and 20 km from Isparta. The ancient ruins of Sagalassos are 7 km from Ağlasun on Mount Akdağ, in the Western Taurus mountains range, at an altitude of 1450–1700 metres. In Roman Imperial times, the town was known as the ‘first city of Pisidia’, a region in the western Taurus mountains, currently known as the Turkish Lakes Region. Already during the Hellenistic period, it had been one of the major Pisidian towns.
Archaeological digs among the ruins of what used to be known as “The City of Emperors” are conducted since 1990. Every summer a group of 80 students and experts do research at the site, coordinated by archaeology professor Marc Waelkens from the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium.
Before you visit the archeological site you can have a good impression of the site and the work that’s going on. Koç University’s Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations in Istanbul is home to a unique exhibition featuring photographs of the ancient city of Sagalassos through the lenses of Belgian photographers Bruno Vandermeulen and Danny Veys.
But this is not an ordinary photo exhibition: it focuses on the discussion of “interpretation process” in contemporary archaeology photography.
When Vandermeulen started working for the university in 2002, he was asked to join the excavation team and implement a photography project. “As the workload was too big, I asked Danny [Veys] to join me. Although initially only intended as a professional job, it soon became a passion as we started to develop our own work, looked into archives, rediscovered earlier photographs, etc. In 2008 we started the project ‘(in)site, site-specific photography revised’,” Vandermeulen told Sunday’s Zaman during a recent interview.
Read the rest of the interview with the photographer here:s
“(In) Site Sagalassos: The Archaeology of Excavation Photography” continues until June 10 at the Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (RCAC), located on İstiklal Caddesi, No. 181 in İstanbul’s Beyoğlu district. For more information, visit