Lost Costantinople: subterranean water structures – application of speleology techniques in the
archaeological research. Aygün Çi?dem Özkan, E?ilmez Ali Hakan
LOST CONSTANTINOPLE: SUBTERRANEAN WATER STRUCTURES- APPLICATION OF SPEOLOGY TECHNIQUES IN THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESEARCH
Archaeological survey has being realized about the water distribution sytem of ancient Constantinople directed by Dr. Çi?dem Özkan Aygün on behalf of Istanbul Technical University since 2005. The researches sofar covers the cisterns,wells, water distribution channels/galleries and other water structures in the area of today’s Hagia Sophia Museum, Topkap? Palace Museum, Istanbul Archaeological Museums and Hippodrome. This zone refers to the acropole of the ancient settlement and first hill of East Roman city. Besides the existence of researches related to the supply system arriving to the city, a comprehensive archaeological research does not exist related to the historic triangle. The main objective of this project, is to explain the functioning of this water supply and distribution sytem, the connection between themselves and their connection to the historical upper structure. This is the reason why we have prefered to start our survey from the last point that those distribution lines arrive. This is the area which has kept its importance through all cultures as the religious and administrative nucleus of the historical city.
Besides a group of archaeologists, architects, civil engineers and art historians from Istanbul Technical University,this project has been realized with a group of professionals from ASPEG (Anatolian Speleology Group) . Also photographers and divers have contributed to the survey. We have utilized underwater and terranean ROV (Remote Operating Vehicles) for the inaccessable areas.
While following the water distribution channels, some unexpected structures have been also found and examined. The most important ones are under Hagia Sophia like a hypogeum under the northern garden.
This project has been pioneer for the cooperation of archaeology and speleology in Turkey and been followed with many other projects with a crutial contribution of speleologists. Information about the publications can be found under www.hagiasophiasubterranean.itu.edu.tr