Posted by: lukelavan | August 30, 2010

Early medieval layer in the forum

The excavations in the main forum are going well. The Berlin section is deeply impressive, with two styles of late paving (adjacent to each other) being revealled. In the Kent section we have only scraps of mosaic, but we have found a quite extensive tile and cobble spread, which seems to have been put down immediately on top of the robbed mosaic. Axel has found it in Berlin’s area too. This was an attempt to make a durable surface in the forum at a very late date, but not long after the compelx had been stripped of much of its ornament. The deposit is quite thick at the very southern end of the portico, so we might yet be able to date it. Both team have also exposed the edge of the foundation portico and we are scanning it for features.

Elsewhere on site, we have a had a visit from Eddie the archivist, who is busy trying to digitise our plans ready for publication. He has spotted some errors, especially in the medieval area, which is a bit diheartening. We think that our decision to use hard ground pegs insead of road irons for grid markers has been the cause of this. They seem to move a lot during the dig, as people kick them around. However, this is the price of protecting the archaeology. No-one wants to hammer road irons through a mosaic, which in the Foro della statua eroica can be only a few centimetres below the surface. Nevertheless it seems that we will be able to make the necessary corrections to the plans thanks to our laser distance measurer, and then produce an accurate map of this fascinating area.

Luke Lavan 30/08/2010



  1. A bee, returning to its hive after discovering a remote source of honey, can disclose to other members of the colony the exact location of the source — its distance and direction (and even the concentration of sugar in the honey) — without putting down any marker. Can’t you guys dispense with these primitive stakes and road irons to mark locations, but communicate the information to each other by dancing? Just a helpful suggestion.

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