Home Page Issues Publishing Principles Order Form Links Contact Türkçe
Detailed Search  
Click here to visit web site of Kaleii Museum
If you would like to get announcement mails about Akmed activities, please subcribe to our mailling list.
First name:
Last name:


An Evaluation of the Roman Rural Baths of Lycia in the Light of Two New Examples from Trebenna and Typallia
Nevzat ÇEVİK*

The Roman thermae, which did spread from Rome from the first century BC on, did also rapidly increase in the regions of Lycia and Pamphylia. When we investigate the known examples, we can observe that this rapid increase began in western Anatolia and reached Pamphylia a little later. Of course the economy prospering in the 'Pax Romana' environment had an important share in their construction. The Hellenistic gymnasia in western Anatolia influenced the Roman baths in Anatolia assuming a different form. However, two important technological developments, namely the the hypocaust system and the introduction of aqueducts, had a great influence on the formation of the Roman thermae. Although being related in some aspects, the Roman thermae appear in a newly formed, composite type that is not identical with the gymnasia. As in other provinces of the Roman Empire, in Anatolia too, architectural types different from those in Rome emerged. The best example is the bath-gymnasium complex. This new type of bath was a combination of two different types that first came together in Italy and was then adapted in Anatolia with local characteristics.

The abundant remains of the larger baths and the fact that these are well preserved facilitate the identification of this group; however, to find out the baths of smaller settlements and to establish their plan is much less easy due to the lack of sufficient surviving remains and their poor quality. Almost all of the plans of Anatolian monumental baths are known today, since most of the archeological excavations have been conducted in important cities, and important monumental baths have been fully explored. The main problem today, however, is the state of the poor-quality of the smaller baths that were erected in small and medium size settlements. Our knowledge concerning these smaller baths is insufficient in comparison to the larger baths due to the lack of excavations and even surveys conducted in these settlements. This is the main reason for our lack of knowledge concerning rural Roman baths. The Trebenna and Typallia baths identified during periodical surveys conducted in the Bey Mountains in Northeast Lycia have been chosen for this article, as they constitute two different and unique examples exhibiting the state of rural baths.

Trebenna Baths: Sections I and II constitute the entrance, section III is the apodyterium and frigidarium), section IV is the tepidarium and section V is the caldarium. Typallia Baths: Section I is the most problematic area of the structure. An apodyterium - frigidarium is expected in the front part of the baths whose two closed sections can be fully traced. It can be said from the traces of plaster that can be seen here and there that the walls of this section were entirely plastered over. Section II is the first heated section of the baths. The marble plaques found in this small room, which is nearly square, belong to the wall facing. The brick fixing, on which the marble plaques were fitted, can be seen. Section III, which forms the western part of the baths, was the actual bathing room. Section IV seems not to be an organic part of the bath. This section was probably built later making use of the terrace wall behind and the terrace formed in the front of this section.
Evaluation: After the general overview above, the following additional evaluations can be made on the two new baths introduced in this article: 1. Two new baths were added to the 69 examples known in Lycia. 2. The bathhouse at Trebenna has shown that larger baths of good quality can be expected in medium and even smaller sized settlements. The lifestyle of the rulers and their attitude towards the citizens must have determined the construction of such baths.

oreover, high rate of people who have adopted the Roman lifestyle within the entire population of the city must also have had an influence. The 2nd and 3rd centuries AD were the most splendid times in Trebenna, when the city must have had the densest population. 3. The location of Trebenna as the last Lycian city on the eastern end of the Roman road network on the junction of Pamphylia, Pisidia and Lycia must have privileged this city. 4. The bathhouse at Trebenna has nothing lacking in comparison to known Roman baths with its sections identified to a large extent. The high quality masonry of the walls and the arrangement of the units according to an expectable plan are similar to those in most important Lycian cities. 5. The bathhouse offers a rural layout corresponding to Krencker's category of the 'small thermae of the Empire/small imperial thermae'. 6. When we compare the surface area of the covered parts of the bathhouse at Trebenna of 302 sqm (423 sqm including the walls) with the surface area of other Lycian baths, we find that the Trebenna bathhouse is a medium size one. 7. The bathhouse at Trebenna closely resembles the one in Idebessos. 8. It has been deemed useful to mention at this point the bathhouse at Etenna in Pamphylia, which was studied by us in detail, in regards to its layout and being otherwise unknown to the world of archaeology. 9. The masonry technique employed at Trebenna was widespread in the Roman period and has also a number of examples in Lycia. 10. The bathhouse at Typallia provides us with an important example of rural baths, as it is today unique both in size and layout. It was constructed at a size just suitable for the use by the people living in Typallia, which is a quite small size settlement. The two main sections are next to each other. This example reveals that in rural baths not only the size but also the plan is reduced. The seriously reduced size forced changes in the plan. 11. The stone-workmanship and the masonry technique of the Typallia bathhouse are also different. This difference is in the use of rubble stones in the walls. For this small size of the structure, it has unusually strong walls. In the two preserved main sections of approximately 29 sqm, the walls of 1 m thickness are worthy of note.

12. Materials such as bricks, which indicate the presence of the hypocaust system we found in the Typallia bathhouse, and marble plaques for wall facing and the flue holes in the upper corners of the walls show all together that there were heating arrangements, although not so developed as in the larger baths. 13. Among the known Roman thermae there are no parallel examples in regards to layout and size to the Typallia bathhouse. However, some examples found in Roman villas have layouts and sizes that are relatively close to the Typallia bathhouse. For instance, the side-by-side aligned small sections of the villa bath in Heilbronn - Wartberg is the closest example. Small sized baths such as the one in Typallia can also be found in military garrisons; for example, the one in Yorkshire. 14. Taking into consideration the quite steep slope of the site of the Typallia bathhouse, it is difficult to place this structure within the bath-gymnasium category, as it is more related to the baths found in houses or villas. However, there is neither a villa nor a house in any close spatial relationship to the Typallia bathhouse. Hence, it has to be stated that this is a city bathhouse of the villa- or palace-type in size. The difference in technique and layout is a consequence of this implementation.

*Prof. Dr. Nevzat Çevik, Akdeniz Üniversitesi, Fen Edebiyat Fakültesi, Arkeoloji Bölümü, Kampüs 07040 Antalya.
**Doç. Dr. Burhan Varkıvanç, Akdeniz Üniversitesi, Fen Edebiyat Fakültesi, Arkeoloji Bölümü, Kampüs 07040 Antalya.

Article List