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Glass Finds from the West City of Limyra in the 2002-2004 Campaigns
Selda BAYBO*

This article covers a catalogue of 194 glass fragments uncovered in the sounding trenches SO 3, SO 9, SO 30, SO 31, SO 32, SO 35, SO 36 and SO 37 during the campaigns of 2002 through 2004. The catalogue shows only the best example of the finds with the same form and the colour and quantity of the remaining examples are shown under the title of "Similar Examples". Thus, the catalogue presented here contains only 76 pieces. Apart from 4 glass weights, all the rest are fragments belonging to various vessels.

Apart from four pieces dating to the Classical and Hellenistic periods, some of the 190 pieces date to the Roman period while the majority belongs to the Late Antiquity and Byzantine period. Categorisation has been done according to the vessel forms. The colour of the glass used is mainly either light green or light blue, both translucent.

Publications on the glass finds from Lycia are limited to Byzantine lighting devices from the Church of St. Nicholas in Demre (Myra). Unpublished theses include the glass finds from Arykanda, Limyra and Patara and provide us with information regarding the general characteristics of Lycian finds.

The example dated to the Classical period is a body fragment belonging to an amphoriskos or alabastron produced with inner mould technique (Cat. Nr. 1). This piece is decorated with dark purple feather motifs on an opaque white background. It is dated to the 5th-4th centuries BC based on parallel examples from the Black Sea, eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus and Anatolia.

A fragment (Cat. Nr. 2) belonging to the mouth profile of an alabastron produced with inner mould technique is dated to the Hellenistic period. It possibly belongs to an spindle-shaped alabastron decorated with yellow glass threads on a blue background. Majority of its parallels are found in Cyprus; thus, it is thought to be a form peculiar to Cyprus. Numerous parallels from Sicily, Greece, Anatolia and eastern Mediterranean are dated to 3rd-1st centuries BC.

Cat. Nr. 3 and 4 are examples of small bottles resembling the neck and mouth forms of unguentaria. Cat. Nr. 3 is an example for the type seen as of the 1st century while Cat. Nr. 4 is an example for the type seen as of the 3rd century.

Cat. Nr. 5-11 are wide bottle mouth forms and belong to various bottle forms used as of the 2nd century well into the Byzantine period.

Cat. Nr. 12 is a bottle form that widens toward the bottom and resembles the late Islamic period examples with its large size and thick wall. Cat. Nr. 13 and 14 are both commercial bottle forms produced with mould-blowing technique and common from the 1st through 4th century in the Roman Imperial period: Cat. Nr. 13 has a prismatic body and bears impressed ancient Greek letters on its bottom reading …YMY(A)… . Cat. Nr. 14 has a decoration of three concentric circles on its bottom. Cat. Nr. 15-18 are bottom fragments that may belong to common bottle forms of Late Roman - Byzantine periods.

Cat. Nr. 20-23 are mouth fragments and Cat. Nr. 24-30 are bottom fragments that may belong to common beaker forms used in the 2nd-3rd centuries as well as mainly in the Late Roman- Byzantine periods.

Cat. Nr. 35-38 are examples belonging to carinated bowls and represent mainly the Early Roman period. Half of examples belonging to carinated bowls are brown in colour and are thought to be imitations of carinated metal bowls of the period. The other half is green in colour. The irregularity of carinations suggests they were made on the wheel not in the mould. Cat. Nr. 31 is a bowl with kangal handles and with its deep and shallow variations it is a common form of the Early Roman period. This production was inspired from terra sigillata bowl form.

Cat. Nr. 32-34 have rims decorated with blue glass bands and thus reflect features of the Late Roman - Early Byzantine period.

Cat. Nr. 40-41 are plates with rims folded outside and thus closely resemble the mouth forms of the plates and bowls of the 4th century. The mouth profile of Cat. Nr. 43 presents a variation of terra sigillata plate form executed on glass.

Cat. Nr. 44-45 are rim fragments with thin walls and large diameters; they may belong to plates or the deep and large fruit bowls depicted in wall paintings of the Roman period. Cat. Nr. 46 is an unparalleled example and may belong to a deep bowl form. The bottoms Cat. Nr. 47-48 should belong to plate forms as they have large diameters.

The goblet foot form depicted in Cat. Nr. 49 is the most common glass item form uncovered. This is a very common form widely used as of the 4th century well into the Middle Ages.

Cat. Nr. 50-51 are fragments resembling rim forms of çubuklu oil lamps while Cat. Nr. 52 resembles the rim form of oil lamps with a handle. Cat. Nr. 53-56 are fragments belonging to oil lamp çubuks. This form emerged in the 4th century with the eastern Mediterranean examples and gained widespread use in the 5th-6th centuries mainly for the lighting of the church interiors.

Cat. Nr. 57 is a decorated rim/edge fragment, whose profile resembles that of a disk; thus, it is thought to belong to a flat lid form. It may also belong to a bowl that deepens acutely. However, no parallels of such forms have been found. The parallel of our example is found among Pataran examples.

Cat. Nr. 58-63 are body fragments belonging to very common forms of the Roman period. Cat. Nr. 58 has an almond-shaped boss, Nr. 59 has cut decoration, Nr. 60 is carinated, Nr. 61 has drop-shaped boss, Nr. 62-63 are decorated with glass threads.
Cat. Nr. 64 is a handle belonging to a large vessel while Cat. Nr. 65-69 must belong to oil lamps with handles widely used across a vast geography in the 5th-6th centuries.

Cat. Nr. 70-72 are amorphous pieces that point to glass slag, or faulty production. This group is important as it testifies to the production of glass wares in the city during the Late Roman or Early Byzantine period.

The weights were first produced from bronze; however, with the division of the Roman Empire into two, they were also produced from glass. It is known that glass weights were struck in three standards and were used for gold coin adjustment. Cat. Nr. 73-76 are Byzantine glass weights with cruciform monograms, typical for the 6th-7th centuries. The monograms are not legible due to damage to the glass surface; however, it is possible that they may date to the reigns of the emperors Herakleios or Theodosios III (7th century) thanks to the parallelism of the letters.

Consequently, glass finds from Limyra are parallel to those of the Roman and Byzantine periods unearthed in Arykanda and Patara in Lycia in regards to forms and quality.

*M.A. Selda Baybo, Pınarbaşı Mah. 700. Sokak, Safir Sok., B Blok 6/2. Antalya.

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