Posted by: lukelavan | September 1, 2009

Test pits yield results

The tests pit across the foro della statua eroica have yielded results. Across part of the foro we have an impenetrable mass of roots. Elsewhere we have uncovered a rubble layer that is either rich in Roman sherds (the fill layer) or represents a mix of a destruction layer covered by patches of mortar. However in the eastern portico we also have some further features: a pedestal, that might have been the base for a statue, and also a solid mortar floor covered by some fragments of wall plaster, that has presumably collapsed off the back wall of the portico. Celine Murphy, who dug the test pit, also found a fine bone hair pin. We hope to expand our trenches in this area and reveal more of the portico soon. Alexandra Alvarez, who uncovered the pedestal, with the help of Joey Boatfield, has also bagged a number of coins that are awaiting cleaning.

Meanwhile, the ups and downs continue for the Kent director Luke Lavan. He was elated to be granted permission to start cleaning work in the palaestra of the baths, but is suffering from having accidentally run into a tree. He was one of only a few people on site not to have tattoos before today, but now the scrapes across his shoulder make him look like an aspiring fashion victim. Despite the pain that this attempt to get close to nature entailed, Luke is pleased with the progress of the works. The medieval walls over the west portico are now entirely exposed, and we have started planning the nymphaeum opposite the forum façade. Off site we are enjoying some great meals prepared by team members, and a group have just visited the necropolis beneath the Vatican.

Luke Lavan 01/09/2009


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