Posted by: lukelavan | September 11, 2009

Palaestra repairs smarter than thought


Work in the palaestra has increased in intensity, and a new level of detailed observation has been reached. It is now clear that the late repairs to the portico were not quite as rough as once thought. Today the brick piers inserted into the portico to support the columns seem quite ugly: rough emergency work done to prevent the roof from collapsing. However, we have observed that they were in fact once faced with marble – as a small part of the revetment survives. The back wall of the portico also had a marble veneer, but this seems to be early imperial. Elsewhere on the paving of the palaestra a late foundation has emerged for a statue base probably that cuts the early mosaic – clearly the whole square was redecorated in this period to serve as a public plaza.


Today we finally obtained access to the site depot – with just a week remaining. This has allowed our pottery specialist, Elizabeth Pamberg, to check our pottery from last year with a view to sorting out some dating evidence, and for Celine Murphy to start illustrating key small finds. Meanwhile Ana Sanchez is busy recording some of our wall plaster, which is concentrated in two deposits at present, one of which is along a late section of the back wall of the palaestra portico. After numerous problems, artefact analysis has finally got up to speed, though perhaps sadly a little too late for some of the key objectives of our current season.

Luke Lavan 11/09/2009


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