Prof. Jordan Pickett excavation Sardis

Prof. Jordan Pickett is doing fieldwork this summer at Sardis, an ancient city in western Turkey. Famed for the wealth of its Lydian king Croesus (reigned 560-546 BCE), and for its inclusion among the Seven Churches of the Apocalypse in Revelations, Sardis has been home for an international team of researchers from Harvard and Cornell universities, and from all over Turkey, the U.S. and Europe, who have worked here continuously since 1959. Prof. Pickett’s research is focused on the later Roman and Byzantine periods via the documentation of massive fortifications perched on the acropolis 1000 feet above Sardis. Little studied since the 1960s, these fortifications were built with thousands of reused architectural blocks and sculptures taken from older Roman monuments in the lower city, probably after a major earthquake c. 600 CE, during a period of territorial insecurity in the decades thereafter. Prof. Pickett’s research sheds more light on this important monument: when, why, and how these fortifications were built, their relation to the Roman city and its environment, and their sociopolitical context in Late Roman or Early Byzantine Anatolia. For more information about Sardis, with free monographs and hundreds of articles, an object database, and lots of images, see the project website at :

Tuesday, July 2, 2019 - 8:24am