Posted by: lukelavan | September 13, 2009

A Roman ring and a family of snails

On part of the palaestra portico is proving to be very rich in finds: a robbing trench which was cut into the mosaic during the middle ages to remove a lead water pipe. The water pipe itself is impressive – it survives in one section, against the wall.

ringhand

In this trench we have uncovered painted wall plaster, coins and today a roman ring – in either jet or some other organic material, as it is very light. The stone, if there was one, is missing, and the ring was too small to fit the finger of diggers who tried. Ana Sanchez again provided valuable advice on how to conserve it, from her 20 years of experience excavating and conserving in Spain.

snails1
snails2
A second major discovery of the day was less archaeological – a family of snails living within the folds of the cloak of the Roman heroic statue at the centre of our forum. How on earth they managed to climb up there I do not know, and they will probably be waiting for autumn rains before descending again. Elsewhere on the plaza insects are more visible, from the numerous crickets to the occasional preying mantis. Such insects are often disturbed when we clean up new areas. Luke noticed a mantis whilst cleaning around the cistern area. This will continue tomorrow, as we try to get a photo mosaic of the forum cistern wall, which contains some re-used stone blocks. Lloyd has also been devegetating the late nymphaeum opposite the forum for survey, pruning back a tree which had obscured our view of the niches set in the structure, which once held statues, producing a façade similar to the Trevi fountain.

AxelSieves<

Luke Lavan 13/09/2009br>

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