Excavations at Colossae
Updated: Sep 14
The mound at Colossae has long waited to be excavated. The great news is that excavations began in 2021, led by Bariş Yener of Pammukale University in Denizli (the main city in the Lycus valley). The first several years involve surface surveys to analyze pottery and survey the landscape. They hope to start digging in 2023-24.
Last week, I had a chance to visit the Colossae mound with Bariş. He mentioned some results from the ground penetrating radar and we walked through the north acropolis together.
For more information on the archaeological project at Colossae, check out the recent webinar on YouTube (“Colossae, Colossians, and Archaeology”). Mark Wilson is the host, Bariş Yener presents on the city’s history and the 2021 excavations, and then scholars Clint Arnold and Anna Enberg offer additional insights about the potential of excavations at Colossae.
Greeting and Introduction: Mark Wilson
Main Presentation: “Latest Archaeological Surveys in Colossae,” Bariş Yener (0:06–0:45). A helpful historical overview of the city and report on the pottery findings from the surface survey. In short, the city appears to have been continuously inhabited from the Chalcolithic period into the medieval era, even after the 8C move to Honaz.
Response 1: “How the Excavation of Colossae Could Help Illuminate Paul’s Letter to the Colossians,” by Clint Arnold (0:45–1:27).
Response 2: “Archaeology and Interpreting Colossians,” Anna Enberg (1:27–1:44).
Q & A (1:44–2:12). The excavator discusses outside involvement and future plans for the dig, as well as answers questions from listeners.