THE ANASTASIAN WALL

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Introduction 

Corner Tower at Hisar TepeThe monument known in antiquity as either the Long Walls of Thrace or the Anastasian Wall lies 65 km west of Istanbul and stretches from the Black Sea coast across the peninsula to the coast of the Sea of Marmara to the west of Silivri. The Wall is part of the additional defences for Constantinople constructed during the 5th century AD and probably continued in use until the 7th century.

Originally the Wall was around 56 km long, but less than half of the total length now survives above ground. It is best preserved in the rolling woodland of the northern sector where the Wall stands in place up to 4m in height. Associated with the Wall is a well preserved ditch, outerwork, gates and forts. As it survives it is the most monumental linear fortification dating from antiquity in continental Europe, comparable only with Hadrian's Wall in its complexity and preservation. Recent road construction and other developments associated with the expansion of Greater Istanbul are now posing a major threat to the surviving remains. 

The Anastasian Long Wall project is directed by James Crow and Alessandra Ricci. Fieldwork began in 1994 and the first mapping and survey stage was completed in 2000, although the directors are still involved in research in the region as part of the Water Supply of Constantinople project. This research benefitted considerably from the generous support and assistance of the Department of Antiquites and Museums in Ankara.

 

The aims of Anastasian Wall Project are as follows:

  • To study and record the surviving structure of the Wall.
  • To conduct preliminary investigations into the aqueducts and water channels surviving in the vicinity of the Wall, which provided the city's water supply from the late fourth century onwards.
  • To examine associated remains of forts and other structures in the woodland reported in earlier accounts of the Wall.
  • To study the settlement archaeology of the Wall and its environs as part of the hinterland of Constantinople. 
  • To study the modern landscape of traditionally coppiced woodland and to integrate this study with an investigation of the paleo-ecology of the Wall zone.
  • To develop a conservation strategy for the Wall and its natural environment in cooperation with the Turkish Society for Nature Conservation of Istanbul.



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Site History

2002
1 May: Site Launch
4 Jun: Site updated with dynamic frames to allow direct external access from search engines
4 Jun: Introduction and instruction page added to Navigation Map in Water Supply section
17 Jul: No-frames format launched


home page project acknowledgements Fieldwork Photo Album Project Bibliography Reports from 1994 onwards 3d visualisation of the Anastasian Wall Survey Methodology Souther Sector of the Anastasian Wall Central Sector of the Anastasian Wall Northern Sector of the Anastasian Wall Go To Water Supply of Constantinople Pages Intoduction to the Anastasian Wall historical overview of the development Anastasian Wall Dynamic Navigation Map