Sardis     Ephesus     Anemourion

Anemourion, a city in crisis
  After an earthquake afflicted the town of Anemurium in 580, urban life concentrated in a nucleus around the remains of the Roman baths and gymnasium complex. The complex was built in the mid-third century, but had fallen out of use in less than a hundred years. (In Sardis, a building of similar function was maintained and restored throughout the Early Byzantine period; it functionned primarily as a bath, the large colonnaded palaestra (exercise ground) being used for municipal reunions or as a public park.) By the late sixth century, a considerable portion of the bath and palaestra at Anemurium were invaded by domestic structures and workshops. A well was dug in one of the rooms to replace the damaged aqueduct system. Various tools and instruments found in the complex illustrate the daily life, trade and industry in late sixth-century Anemurium.
  Workshops were established in the vaulted halls of the great baths, which were stripped of their furnishings to accomodate a lime kiln, pottery kilns, and a grain mill. A lively commercial activity is suggested through weights and fragments of steelyards. Alongside with farmers and fishermen, it has been possible to identify a population of craftsmen, such as tailors, leatherworkers, jewellers and potters. Evidence for a local lamp industry is provided from molds for terracotta lamps found close to a pottery kiln in the baths and a hoard of seven hundred lamps concealed in the hypocaust of another of the city's baths. The houses had floors of beaten earth and dry stone walls held together by corner and interval piers of well-mortared masonry. Some were two-storeyed, and several had earthen ovens. Houses were lit by clay lamps produced on the site, but bronze lamps were also used, and so were conical glass lamps inserted in chandeliers. Quantities of hasps, lockplates and small keys indicate that clothes and various commodities were stored in chests. Kitchen ware was predominantly ceramic, but elements of metal vessels were also found. Loom weights, spindle whorls and hooks belong to the everyday activity of women, while dice and gaming counters were probably intended for male entertainment. Female accessories include copper and bone hairpins, kohl sticks, cosmetics' spatulas and jewellery, such as silver earrings, bronze finger rings and bracelets. Christian devotion was expressed through pendant crosses in gold, silver and bronze. Both genders had recourse to objects with apotropaic powers. A group of amulettic medallions in glasspaste or bronze bear inscriptions and figural decoration intended to ward off evil spirit. The most common magical formulae evoke the seal of Solomon. Other types of phylacteries are rings engraved with mystical symbols or cylindrical tubes worn arond one's neck bearing a rolled metallic sheet inscribed with a magical text and symbols. Small bells also served as apotropaic devices; they were placed above cradles to protect infants, at doorways to secure the entrance of the home, and inside graves to accompany the dead. The numerous coins discovered on the site date the finds from 589 to 656.

See also: Urban Planning; Minor arts