The Macellum: August 17-28, 2008
Finally at the end of the campaign we can tell with certainty that at least four shops are found behind the portico, each of more or less similar dimensions (+/- 5.50 meters in length and around 4.40 meters deep). Also a part of the northern part of the eastern portico was excavated, of which possibly the northern edge was discovered. In the fill of this northern portico some striking finds were done, such as a ring with the picture of an eagle on it, as well as a piece of painted plaster, probably coming from the wall separating the portico from the shops. In the most northern part of the excavated part of the portico a collapsed wall was visible. This might have been part of the wall showing the most northern edge of the portico. Future excavations farther to the north will reveal whether this assumption is right. In the north of the portico a staircase is seen just north of the possible northern edge of the Macellum. These stairs belong to a later phase than the first building phase of the western wall of the northern shop. They might have led up to an alley north of what is probably the last shop of the eastern part of the Macellum.
Also the wall, orientated north-south, separating the portico from the shops behind seems to come to an end in the north. The wall closing the last shop excavated in the north is wider than the other wall orientated east-west dividing the shops from one another. This might again indicate the northern end of the eastern portico of the Macellum and the shops to the east of the portico. The north-south orientated wall enclosing room 8 in the east, seems to be built on an older phase wall (possibly the original outer wall of the Macellum). A door opening in this older wall was closed when the new wall was built.
In the northern wall of the northern room a large window was present with a cupboard in front of it. From this cupboard lots of ceramics were found. This window was rebuilt in a later phase and placed at a higher elevations, possibly due to privacy reasons since the stairs in the north led up to a higher located alley. A kind of plateau, orientated north-south, parallel to the outer wall, was built in the northern shop, on which goods were likely to be displayed in the shop.
This can also be inferred from the fact that lots of ceramics (such as oil lamps and figurines) as well as a small stone hand were found in the layer just above this bench. Many finds in the fill of this room also come from close to the door opening in the wall that divides the portico from the shops. Large slabs in a row (orientated north-south) are found on a floor, which was made of small stones and mortar) in the northern room. They could be identified as part of a structure, possibly used to divide different spaces within the room. The stone/mortar floor in this room has disappeared at some places where the floor substrate is visible. At the large spot in between the large slabs where the floor has disappeared, a hearth is found.
In the fill of the northern room on top of this floor large amounts of ceramics and bones were found. Similar slabs as found in the northern room are found in the shop south of it as well.
A part of a new wall was found east of the outer wall of the Macellum, orientated north-south, parallel to the outer wall. In between the outer wall of the Macellum and this wall, which seem to be parallel in orientation, an alley might have been located outside the Macellum.
This wall should be excavated to the north for a better understanding of this wall.
Most of the aims for the excavations of the Macellum of the 2008 campaign seem to have been accomplished.