Cremna Survey – Pisidia Survey Project

Location: near Çamlık village; Burdur Province

Years: 1985-1987

Project Director: Stephen Mitchell

Participants: Marc Waelkens, Edwin J. Owens, Sarah Cormack (1985, 1987), C. Martin (1985), Gregory Horsley, Adnan Şakar (1985), Macit Akça (1985), Robin Fursdon (1986-1987), Roger Bruton (1986), Mark Critchley (1986), Helen Thackray (1986), Roger and Miranda McKearney (1986), Mustafa Büyükkolancı (1987), Christopher Lightfoot (1987), William Hargrove (1987), Claire Robinson (1987), Anthea Cudworth (1987), Duncan Mallace (1987), Mark Willy (1987,  Kirsty Norman (1987)

Government Representatives: Mehmet Armağan (1985), Lüfti Önel (1986), Sabri Aydal (1987)

Funding: British Academy, BIAA, Craven Committee of Oxford University, Roman Society, National Fund for Scientific Research (Belgium)



In 1985, a survey project was initiated at the site of Cremna in Burdur Province.  The survey was part of the Pisidia Survey Project, which aimed at furthering knowledge on ancient Pisidia by investigating a number of important sites in the region.  A survey had been conducted at Cremna in the nineteenth century, but the plan produced was not entirely accurate.

Between 5 July and 3 August 1985, the goals of the survey were to make accurate city plans, investigate individual buildings, and record inscriptions and monuments both on and around the site.  Within the first two weeks, a tacheometric survey was completed for the city, including major features like the basilica, forum of Longus, library, theatre, agora, colonnaded street, Ionic temple, water supply system, cemeteries, later Roman fortifications, and some domestic housing areas.  Particular attention was paid to the sixteen large cisterns near the nymphaeum, the street, and housing areas.  Work on the fortifications showed that the previously published plan contained some errors.  In total, 35 inscriptions in both Greek and Latin, 11 of which had not been published previously, were recorded.

Work continued between 2 July to 12 August 1986, during which the team concentrated on four areas.  Firstly, they conducted further surveys, and made additions and corrections to last year’s site map.  Secondly, they focused on the public buildings on the site: Waelkens investigated a small Ionic temple west of the Nymphaeum, and the Doric agora to the east was found to be one of Cremna’s earliest and best preserved buildings.  The third point of focus was the domestic housing area, which was surveyed and found to contain a large house with a courtyard and balustrade.  Lastly, the fortifications were investigated: evidence from the siege of AD 278 (during which an Isaurian called Lydius occupied the city) could be seen in the two lines of walls constructed along the west, a siege mound, and the remains of missiles (both broken and intact).  A dedicatory inscription dating to AD 278 provided epigraphic certainty for the interpretation of these remnants, which means that Cremna exhibits one of the best documented sieges of the Roman Imperial era.

In 1987, work at Cremna continued between 1 July to 20 August.  Survey work and research was again focused on the public buildings, domestic quarters, and fortifications, and in-depth investigation was also undertaken on the city’s water supply and aqueducts.  They found that Cremnos had undergone much construction between AD 125 and 200.  An aqueduct system was discovered and traced to its source, a spring about 2km away from the city centre.  Further details of the siege were elucidated at the fortifications, and another large artillery missile was discovered by the west wall.  The team undertook preservation work on a few monuments, and took some of the significant finds to the Burdur Museum.


1986: ‘The Year’s Work’ Anatolian Studies 36: 8-10

Mitchell, S., Waelkens, M. 1987: ‘Sagalassus and Cremna’ Anatolian Studies 37: 37-47

Mitchell, S., Waelkens, M. 1988: ‘Cremna and Sagalassus’ Anatolian Studies 38: 53-65

See also:

Horsley, G.H.R. 1987: ‘The Inscriptions from the So-Called "Library" at Cremna’ Anatolian Studies 37: 50-80

Horsley, G.H.R. 1989: ‘Two New Milestones from Pisidia’ Anatolian Studies 39: 79-84

Mitchell, S. 1995: Cremna in Pisidia: An Ancient City in Peace and in War. London

Davies, G. 2000: ‘Cremna in Pisidia: A Re-Appraisal of the Siege Works’ Anatolian Studies 50: 151-158 

Belongs to;
Archaeology and Related Disciplines
Combined Projects

View other research