Contact: British Institute at Ankara (BIAA)
Email: biaa@britac.ac.uk
Website: Go to website

Subterranean Hagia Sophia: Revealing the Waters below Hagia Sophia

A BIAA Online Lecture by Dr Çiğdem Özkan Aygün and Professor James Crow

June 1, 2021
Tuesday, 19:00 – 21:00 GMT +3
Register here for the Zoom link.


Since 2005, Dr Aygün has directed the interdisciplinary survey of subterranean remains in the area of Hagia Sophia, also supported by speleologists, professional photographers and divers. During this talk, Dr Çiğdem Özkan Aygün will explain the subterranean structures and their relation to the water supply system, present their 3D models and show a short documentary.

Most of the finds were new to scholarship and unexpectedly rich and informative about the history and the construction techniques of the structures. They have opened a door into the monument’s unexplored relation with water management. This survey has proven that the area of Hagia Sophia was strategic in water supply distribution over the first hill of the city where the ancient water supply line ended. Further exploration beneath the Hippodrome and Topkapı Palace area revealed connections in the water supply.

Dr Çiğdem Özkan Aygün received her PhD from the Post-Classical Archaeology Programme of University of Roma I - La Sapienza with the scholarship of Italian Ministery of Foreign Affairs. She has conducted archaeological surveys titled “Sunken Medieval Settlement at Hazar Lake Eastern Turkey ” and “Survey of Subterranean Structures and Water Supply in the Area of Hagia Sophia, Topkapı Palace and Hippodrome”. She is a co-investigator in the new BIAA/BA project Water in Istanbul: Rising to the Challenge.

Professor James Crow teaches Roman and Byzantine archaeology at the University of Edinburgh. He has directed survey projects on the Black Sea and on Naxos, and from 1994 in the western hinterland of Istanbul, surveying and documenting the Anastasian Wall and the Water Supply of Byzantine Constantinople. He is also a co-investigator in the new BIAA/BA project Water in Istanbul: Rising to the Challenge.


Contact: British Institute at Ankara (BIAA)
Email: biaa@britac.ac.uk
Website: Go to website ......
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