Macellum: Aims 2006
The archaeological excavations of the Macellum (food market) started in 2005. The building is located on a lower terrace southeast of the Upper Agora. It was dedicated in A.D. 167 by the local citizen P. Aelius Akulas in honor of the Parthian victory of Marcus Aurelius. The complex was composed of a square courtyard framed on all sides by rows of shops--except to the south where it was open--featuring a central tholos.
The aims for 2006 are as follows:
- The completion of the excavation of several rooms and spaces:
- The lower part of the stratigraphy in room 3 that was not reached during the 2005 campaign.
- The portico in front of room 1, including the removal of architectural elements still lying on the spot and the completion of the excavation from the entrance of room 1 up to the tholos in the center of the courtyard.
- The extension of the excavated area towards the south of the complex's west wing in order to empty several shops located in this area, which can be recognized by a series of aligned door jambs preserved and still visible at the surface. The southwest corner of the building will be completely exposed, and additional spaces behind it will possibly be exposed, as was the case in 2005 with the discovery of the additional rooms 2 and 3.
- The extension of the excavated area towards the center of the building (east): the aim is to focus on the portico in front of the row of shops, as well as on the paved courtyard.
- To document the original construction date of the building, as well as later repairs, encroachment phases, abandonment and collapse processes.
In addition, the contextual analysis will continue, involving the study of all kinds of material evidence (ceramic, glass, metal, and micro-, macrobotanical, and faunal remains), in order to document the function of the different rooms and possible functional changes of these spaces through time (i.e. artisanal activities, presence of dumps, etc.)