N-S Colonnaded Street: Aims 2006
A preliminary study of the North South Colonnaded street was carried out during the architectural survey of the late 1980s, when a 1:200 scale map of the area was drawn. However, this map only showed the then visible remains of this 280m long artery, so that many questions on the layout and the construction date of this street remained. During the 2005 campaign the pavement of this main axis was cleaned over a distance of 25m and over its full width. In addition, two trenches were made below the pavement and one within the street's western portico.
The 2005 excavations yielded important information concerning the date of the street's layout and portico, as well as on the urban development and planning of this lower part of the monumental town center. Still, many issues remain to be solved. During this year's campaign, we need to further investigate questions concerning the history of the maintenance and use of the street, especially in late antiquity. This should be done by expanding the now cleared part of the street's surface farther to the north (until the staircase toward the Lower Agora) and to the south (until the point where the late fortification wall seemingly blocked the street). By removing the sediment accumulated on the pavement, traces of encroachment in perishable materials (e.g. wooden stalls) or indications of the ancient use of the street (e.g. gameboards, graffiti, etc.) may be further exposed and studied, as was done during the 2005 campaign (research of Luke Lavan). In addition, a few small test soundings should be carried out below the pavement, at those places where the pavement shows signs of rearrangement or repair. After all the data has been registered and profiles are drawn these trenches will be filled up again.
Finally, the excavations in the western portico and, if time allows it, in the adjoining shops, should be continued to answer questions about the layout and chronology of the use and possible phases of rebuilding of this walkway and the shops.
The continuation of these excavations will also considerably improve the visibility of the urban fabric for visitors.