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British Excavations at Constantinople

  • D. Talbot Rice

The study of the archaeology of eastern Christendom is as yet still in its infancy and the students of east Christian and Byzantine art have been few and far between in England. But of recent years there has arisen a new and more general interest in the civilization which was so violently condemned by Gibbon, and work both of a theoretical and of a practical character has been undertaken on a wider scale. With the theoretical or purely scholastic aspect we are not here concerned; but it seems of interest to present a brief survey of the actual work which has been undertaken by British investigators at Constantinople, the very centre of the Byzantine civilization. During the last four years excavation on a larger or smalIer scale has been in progress, and six separate sites have been examined more or less elaborately as funds have permitted. In 1927 and 1928 a large Expedition, supported by the British Academy, was in the field. In 1929 and 1930 funds were raised in England for work of a more modest nature, but the results were none the less interesting and in one instance discoveries were made which can well be classed within the realms of the sensational.

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1 The results of work in the Hippodrome and neighbourhood were published in 1928, under the title ‘Preliminary Report upon the Excavations carried out in the Hippodrome of Constantinople in 1927 Oxford University Press.

2 The results of work at the Golden Gate will be published by Mr Casson in the near future.

3 The pottery is published and discussed by the author in ‘Byzantine Glazed Pottery’ Oxford, 1930.

4 For a description of the work at the arch, as well as in the baths of Zeuxippus, see ‘Second report upon excavations carried out at Constantinople’ Oxford, 1929.

5 The arch has been reconstructed and is now on view in the Ottoman Museum.

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  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
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