Posted by: lukelavan | September 25, 2009

Temple blocks lifted

We have today removed two large blocks from the 4th c. temple in the palaestra. This has revealed yet more of the revetment around the cult statue pediment and the opus sectile (marble tile) floor that surrounded it. Sometimes there are bits of marble tile in situ, otherwise there are traces in the mortar where the paving used to be. We are now trying to draw and photograph the whole structure before we leave.  Hopefully from this work we will be able to obtain enough information to reconstruct the decoration of the interior of the building.

The Kent students left today, cutting our workforce by over half. This was a sad occasion for the UCLA students and all the staff, although we were all buoyed by the knowledge of what the team has achieved in the short space of four weeks, or, in the case of some students, only three weeks. We had a last drink at Luigi’s bar in the Borgo and then it was off to the airport. Despite our parting, the enduring feeling was of achievement and adversity (from heat, rain and a demanding schedule) overcome. It was truly difficult to do any archaeology in the time frame, given that much of the time was spent either removing backfill or putting it back, or drawing what we found, but the reality is that we now have a good idea of the maintenance and use of public space at Ostia in late antiquity that was not available four weeks ago. Well done team!

Luke Lavan 18/09/2009

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