Posted by: lukelavan | September 7, 2008

05 Sept 2008 – Site Phasing Becomes Clearer: Baths and Other Buildings Below the Forum

Today work went slowly. Most people are now thoroughly exhausted by the heat and were somewhat subdued. Morale has been dented by the continued failure of DHL to deliver our equipment, so that the survey of the plaza and the setting of the grid cannot take place – as the total station is currently has no legs. Yet this afternoon some ranging rods arrived – as did a promise from the Sopraintendenza to lend us some legs next Monday. However, late in the afternoon fresh discoveries were made.

It has become clear that the creation of the plaza involved the demolition of numerous buildings, from baths and shops to part of the portico facing the street. These remains are becoming visible almost immediately below the topsoil of the plaza, where initial cleaning is revealing their traces.






The photos show how part of a wall (now partially buried within another) was cut down to a new level to create the walking surface of the porticoed street facade, and how later the back row of piers of the same portico were cut down to the level of the plaza, in a subsequent phase.

Late in the afternoon Luke plucked up the courage to speak the Japanese team working on the street which passes in front of the forum. Jealousy was the initial cause: we had eyed the legs of their total station all day. It turned out that the team was from Kyushu University and was taking laser measurements for an impressive 3d model of the decumanus (main street) which they were only too happy to show us. Their interest lies in the republican and early imperial period and their leader, professor Yoshiki Hori (PhD University of Manchester) was very surprised to learn how much late antique stuff there was to study in our area, and was eager to see the results of our excavations so far. Sadly, the Japanese team are just about to leave, though we hope to collaborate in future. And, worst of all, they did not fall for our attempt to steal the legs of their total station.



  1. Looks interesting, post a picture of Angela and Joe hard at work ha ha.

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