Posted by: lukelavan | October 3, 2011

The Temple of Hercules

 

One of the highlights of this year’s work has been the rescue excavation and laser survey which we have carried out in the area sacra of the Temple of Hercules. Here the garden service have been busy restoring some of the very crumbly Late Roman walls (here shown after restoration), We are very grateful that the Sopraintendenza allowed us to laser scan them prior to rebuilding, in order to provide a permanent record. They also allowed us to clean this area in order to set the walls into a chronological context. The result has been that we have been able to retrieve coins, pottery and lamps from late surface deposits, which may give us the date at which the area sacra stopped being monumental and in which these walls blocked the view of the altar from the main entrance. It is good to find some intact archaeological layers amidst so much re-deposition and excavation backfill. We are looking forward to presenting the laser scans and wall records to Angelo Pellegrino, the chief of the Ostia archaeological service in the next few weeks. It is good to be able to add to our story of public space the fate of the temple squares.

If you are interested in this topic you may like to consult a recent book by Luke Lavan and Michael Mulryan on the Archaeology of Late Antique Paganism. See http://www.brill.nl/laa/ for details.

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