Olosadeon Kome

1. Location – History

Τhe ruins of Olosadeon Kome were traced at Afşar Kalesi (or Kayadibi), 3 km to the south-southeast of the village of Afşar, which is situated 6 km to the south-southeast of the city of Taşkent.

Τhe name appears only in inscriptions, where it is also found as Olosadon Kome, while the ethnic Olosadeis, possibly the name of some Isaurian tribe, is also reported. Modern bibliography includes the name Olosada, though it is quite unsafe, as concluded by the fact that the city of the Omonadians was called Omana, without the suffix -da.

The city is evidenced in the Roman period, when it appeared as an independent town in the region of Clabene (Κλαβηνή). Perhaps the region included horse farms, since Poplius Titius Reginus, strator of Caecilius Capella, was honoured with a stele erected in the agora of the city.

The settlement had a fortification wall (the lower blocks have survived) and covered the ridge of an inaccessible elevation, on top of which was the acropolis, also fortified with a wall at the most accessible points. The ruins of a two-roomed structure with a side of 30 m were traced at the centre of the acropolis. Τhe cemetery of the city was found low on the hillside, to the south of the settlement.

Less than 1 km to the north of the village of Afşar, at Kale Karamustafataçi, the ruins of a large building came to light, which could be identified with the temple of Sarapis and other gods sharing the same temple. An inscription of the late Antonine or Severan period (late 2nd-early 3rd c. AD) found there reports that the temple was built by the city of Colybrassos, Olosadeon Kome and Thouthourvioton Kome, all of which dedicated the statues as well.1

The city’s cemetery includes underground chamber tombs with relief altars decorated with scenes from daily life. There are representations of a farmer with women and a hunter holding a deer from the horns, while geese are flying above and a tree is standing beside. There are also reports on sarcophagi with lion-shaped covers.

1. The publishers of the inscription, Bean and Mitford, claim that it was constructed towards the late 3rd c. BC on the border of Olosadeon Kome with Thouthourvioton Kome, in commemoration of their settled land dispute, to which Sarapis’ followers of Colybrassos contributed. They also connect the introduction of Egyptian cults with the Ptolemaic presence in the region. However, their claims are not supported by the text of the inscription.