Dig 11

This season is a documentation season, though, even so, there is much excavation work taking place.

Foro della Statua Eroica 2011

This year we are finishing off the recording of the Late Roman macellum of Ostia – which is now known as the Foro della Statua Eroica. We are paerticularly focusing on the first phase of our macellum, our interim report revealled to be more complicated than previously thought. There are two phases, the first of which may possibly date to the 3rd c. A.D. , when a large public square was begun but not completed on this site. We are also focusing on recording the decoration of the structure, cataloguing a large piece of ceiling plaster and other fragments.

Palaestra of the Forum Baths 2011

This area was opened up in late antiquity, when a wall was demolished, so that it became a supplementary plaza directly accessible from the forum of the city. It was furnished with a series of statues moved in from elsewhere, and given a series of other improvements. This year we hope to fix the date of the mosaic floor which covers both the entrance and the plaza floor, and to investigate a series of structures built against the portico of the square, possibly in connection with honorific monuments.

Main Forum

Here Axel Gering will be investigating the porticoes of the curia and other parts of the colonnades surrounding the main plaza of the city.

Aula della Buon Pastore

This apsed structure – which we believe to be a late antique audience hall (perhaps for the urban prefect) (and not a church) will be cleaned in part in preparation for laser scanning, undertaken by specialists from the German space research programme. We hope to evaluate the surviving archaeological potential of the structure and obtain some idea of its potential before detailed survey is undertaken.

Monuments of the Decumanus 2011

The Foro della Statua Eroica is situated on the main road E-W running through the city – the Decumanus. It is clear already that the road is the focus of substantial improvement in late antiquity, with a semi-circular shopping plaza and fountains established right next to the facade of our 4th c. public square. Taken together, they represent one of the most remarkable examples of street improvement in the Mediterranean basin, and are eminently worthy of record. We will be excavating this year the Nymphaeum Bivium, in the west of the city, and the Nymphaeum of the Piazza della Vittoria, in the west of the city. If in each case issues of decoration and warter supply will be carefully considered.

Street blockings

As part of our remit to study the street development of the city we will be surveying a number of different street blockings. Some are the result of building collapse, others are planned closures to make space for monuments (probably done by the city), whereas other seem to serve private interest. We hope to provide chronological frameworks for at least some of these, so that we can fix these examples of urban change clearly within the overall evolution of the city.

Luke Lavan  11/9/2011

Responses

  1. Luke, You have done a super work. I am going to mention this exemplary web site of the archaeological work of your team at the Conference on Byzantine cities organized by the Univ. of Crete next weekend.
    Good luck,
    Helen Saradi


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