Roman Baths: July 27-August 7, 2008
At the beginning of the fourth week of the campaign the RB1 tem finished their excavations inside the second tepidarium and thus we joined the RB2 team which was already working inside the first frigidarium.
Considering the situation inside the second tepidarium, we reached the bottom of the hypocaust floor within the small trench we exposed. The floor consists of tiles of the normal size on which then hypocaustpillars were put. In general, we only encountered one full standing hypocaustpillar, they are 1,40 cm high. Also within that small trench, as mentioned in the last report, we encountered some buttress walls, 5 to be exact. They form the main support for the exterior wall. Those buttress walls exists of tiles and mortar and are generally 1,12 cm high and the bricks or tiles which are used in them are 29 cm by 29 cm by 4 cm. In general those buttress walls are found within a distance of 56 cm of one another.
At the end of the trench, at the eastern direction we encountered the original topfloor of the hypocaustsystem, again existing of pink and white mortar, as we did discover last year within the third caldarium. On that mortar marble veneer was put, however, not found in place anymore, as most of the marble floor has collapsed.
Before reaching the floor we removed the existing floorsubstrate which mainly consisted of a blackish, earthy layer, of which last year some samples were taken in order to find out more information on what kind of fuel was used. Also this year we are planning on taking some samples of that layer or locus in order to find out if the fuel or wood was different then the one used inside the third caldarium.
The marble floor which is supposed to be found on top of the mortar floor has sadly enough, as already mentioned last year and the year before, been collapsed. As such further excavations of this room have been canceled.
We only took away the rest of the profile which we had left last year, in order to find out if there was a wall between the second tepidarium and first frigidarium. As such we took away the topsoil and layers underneath in loci 2420-2370, 2420-2375 and 2420-2380 in order to see how the wall between those two rooms was preserved. As such we encountered a brick and mortar wall, preserved up until 1,30m high and at the both corners of the tepidarium two waterchannels or waterpipes could be found. Of one of them two sherds were sampled for Jeroen Poblome, so he can study further of what material those channels or pipes are made.
As such excavations inside the tepidarium were finished and we moved with our team to the first frigidarium, where already the other RB team was excavating.
We started taking away some topsoil and layers underneath. We started from the tepidarium onwards, being the westside. The topsoil was rather thick and existed mainly of At the beginning of the fifth week of the campaign, we encountered some collapsed parts of either ceiling or roof in the third layer underneath the topsoil. These have been drawn by the architects and measured by the topographers. These collapses consist of brick and mortar.
Important is also that the Slovenians have done some geophysical research, which tells us that the first frigidarium, the second tepidarium and the third caldarium, which means the whole south facade, has vaulted rooms underneath, probably of 1.5 m high. Possibly these are even still preserved and not collapsed up until today.
Also during this two weeks, we cleared away the vegetation around the Severian Gate, which might have formed the main entrance to the Roman Baths. Some blocks of the gate were removed by the crane and important is that an inscription has been found, which might tell us more about the building and the city of Sagalassos itself.