Posted by: lukelavan | September 14, 2009

Rain doesn’t stop play

Today the heavens opened, with an almost comic timing. Luke was giving a site tour to the whole team and had just reached the late Roman temple. He stood there speculating that it might be a temple to Hercules or Jupiter, as official personifications of late Roman pagan emperors. The skies darkened and thunder rumbled. It seemed that the thunderbolt would strike at any moment, as Luke discussed the details of where the cult statue would have stood. He was absolutely not tempted to mount the pedestal, despite the feelings of the onlooking team that a lightning strike might well lighten up the character of their director somewhat. The heavens did open however, and we all ran for cover in the adjacent vaulted room, until the sky cleared for a few more hours of digging.

We are hoping now that the rain has come digging will be easier. The dig is now reaching a climax, as we are reaching the best material in the last few days. So far things are going well, but it will take all of our strength to keep our nerve, when faced with changing circumstances this week, to finish the recording on time. We have started conserving inscriptions imprinted in reverse into the mortar and also have begun studying the mortar levels elsewhere. This work has allowed us to confirm that the mortar level of the forum paving really does cover over a Constantinian apse of the Forum Baths, giving us a clear terminus post-quem for the whole complex. Also the sondage by the façade, dug by Maria Chavez- Hoenes and Kelly Madigan has revealed that the great porticoed entrance to the forum cuts through a wall of the demolished baths under the forum, and that both cut an early road: the sequence is finally seems clear, after much confusion.

Luke Lavan 14/09/2009



  1. Dear Luke, best wishes from Austria, where I discovered three new military camps on the Amber route the last weeks!

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