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Bronze Objects from Church B at Andriake
Andriake assumed an important role as the harbor settlement of Myra, now located in the Demre district of Antalya province. Although the earliest evidence goes to the 4th century B.C., the site was settled during the Hellenistic period and witnessed sizable expansion in the Roman and early Byzantine periods. The harbor is flanked by a settlement on both its north and south sides. Church B is a three-aisled basilica in the south settlement. It is surrounded by a porticoed atrium on the west, a chapel and baptistery to the northeast, related chambers on the north and a cistern on the east. Traces of further walls are discernible to the east and south. Excavations have brought to light most of the naos, all of the atrium, a chapel, baptistery and the annexes on the north (Fig. 1).

All of the bronze objects presented in this article were uncovered in the same stratum of the church and the two rooms connected with the northeastern chapel (Fig. 2). These objects are fragments of a candelabrum (Figs. 3-4), five lamps (Figs. 6, 7, 8a-c), a lid (Fig. 8d), two spoons (Figs. 9a-b) and a handle (Fig. 9c).

According to the finds, the candelabrum stood on an iron tripod and its spirally fluted stem was made from wood plated with bronze plaques. The Corinthian capital on top was forged with a relief decoration. A disk with a hole in the middle, a square bronze plaque and lead fragments, all found together with the fragments of the candelabrum, must have been used for its assembly. Another disk-shaped fragment suggests it was used for collecting any drippings from the lamps or candles placed above.

Two of the five lamps were forged; one is shaped like a cantharus and the other has a spherical body (Figs. 6-7). Due to deformation, the method of suspension for the cantharus-shaped lamp cannot be identified. The spherical lamp has one hole extant for suspending it. The remaining three lamps were made by casting (Figs. 8a-c). One of them has a hole and a chain fragment for suspension that has survived (Fig. 8a), while the other two do not bear any such trace for hanging (Figs. 8b-c). Parallels are known among lamps with open tops, but it is plausible that they could have been used for burning incense.

A conical lid (Fig. 8d) must have been used as the cover of a censer by suspending with a chain through its ring on top. Two spoons pointing into a groove (Figs. 9a-b) suggest a use in connection with the lamps based on their find-spots and context. They may have been used for filling the lamps with oil. A handle with a broken tip (Fig. 9c) may belong to an auxiliary instrument for lighting or liturgical purposes.

All of these bronze objects were uncovered in a layer burnt at places under the tiles of the collapsed roof. A similar layer can also be discerned in the annexes to the north and northeast. Based on the coin, pottery and glass finds from the concerned layer, a date in the late 6th - 7th century A.D. is suggested.

Dr. Özgü Çömezoğlu,
İstanbul Üniversitesi, Edebiyat Fakültesi, Sanat Tarihi Bölümü,
Bizans Sanatı Anabilim Dalı,Ordu Cad. 196, 34134 Laleli - İstanbul
E-posta: ozgu@istanbul.edu.tr

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