Frigidarium F 2
We continued removing the rubble on top of the piscina (swimming pool) level and had removed almost all of it by the end of the week. Just a small pile of rubble is left, which should be removed by the first day of next week. The contours of the western edge of the piscina proved to be apsidal. This apse, or projecting semicircular vaulted part of a building, corresponds with the curved niche in the eastern wall both in dimensions and form. The internal dimensions of the pool are 7.80 by 7.10 meters. A test sounding in its southeast corner exposed benches and steps covered with marble and tiles leading to the bottom of the pool. We reached the floor level (big tile slabs) about 1.35 meters below the pool's upper edge. Another floor of marble might be found at a deeper level if the tile slabs were a kind of step. We found many mosaic tiles inside the deeper levels of the pool, some of them still embedded in mortar. They probably fell from the walls or ceiling. We also unearthed a large masonry block fragment and a fragment with a relief.
This week we also recovered two pieces of marble statuary. One piece was found during the test excavation in the swimming pool. This piece is a base on which two feet and a support covered in a draped cloth were attached. The support is 0.54 meters high and is located in the middle between the feet. Its rather small size corresponds with that of a similar statue discovered in the same room in 2003. The other piece of marble statue is a left arm. The upper arm (12 cm long) and lower arm (10 cm long) have been preserved, but the hand is missing. We found the piece at the same place where we found other statuary last year. These pieces fit together to form the lower part of a female body standing next to a vase covered with drapery (see Field Notes 2003, Roman Baths, August 10-16). The dimensions and plasticity of the statue and the quality of the marble seem to be the same as the pieces of statue found last year. Once again enormous amounts of crustae have been found, especially inside the swimming pool close to the edges. We unearthed another marble panel with an Egyptianizing scene (see Roman Baths, August 1-5) and a marble slab with a Greek inscription.
Apodyterium A 2 (Roman Baths 2)
We put great effort into removing the remaining debris in the room so that next week both of our teams can concentrate on the floor and the piscina. The large room now measures nearly 30.4 meters west to east. Its western extremity is only 9 meters long and 6.10 meters wide. The central and eastern part of the remaining space (23.5 meters long, 10.20 meters wide between the projecting wall sections, and 12.40 meters wide at the level of the niches) has a partially curved east wall in the shape of the frigidarium's pool eastern edge. The curvature is reflected in its western edge as well.
On the last day of the week, we uncovered the balustrade of a well-preserved bathtub in the second rectangular recess of the north wall. These finds correspond with the two tubs already exposed in the southern recesses of the same room (see Roman Baths, July 25-29, August 1-5). The balustrade of polished limestone has two short wings on either side to the close of the niche and is very similar to the one from the southern bathtubs. This balustrade is positioned on a limestone platform. We have not reached the floor level yet, but we expect it to be at the same level as the floor of the room. Finds inside the tub included a brick with graffiti and an inscribed wall plate. Strangely enough, we also found two heads of catapult arrows in the tub.
The amount of opus sectile increased toward the north wall. We found different varieties of shapes--volutes, diamonds, hearts, and eyes. Among the finds of marble wall veneer were two pilaster bases and two Corinthian pilaster capitals that were well preserved, although one of the capitals was broken into three parts. They are larger (.48 by .43 meters) than the ones we knew from earlier campaigns. The broken capital bears a rosette on top, while the second one is crowned with a small Medusa's head. As might be expected, the middle of the room yielded fewer finds. Nevertheless, we collected considerable amounts of crustae every day. We already mentioned the use of afyon seker (sugar white), afyon bal (honey), pavonazetto (purple veined white marble or breccias) and cipollino (a green marble variety from Euboia, Greece) as the main marbles used as wall veneer, but new varieties of stone appear almost every day. Several kinds of breccias, granite, and red porphyry (a type of igneous rock) were used in the revetment of the walls. Only a few centimeters still cover the room's floor level of large and mainly intact marble slabs.