At the Antonine Nymphaeum on the Upper Agora, engineer Semih Ercan continued supervising the completion of columns and column bases, some of which have been put back into their original location. Also the testing of the joints of the architrave-frieze blocks from the six aediculae has been completed, so that next week some trials can be carried out on the building's back wall and on its columns.
Elsewhere, Paola Pesaresi's site conservation team almost completed the pointing of the brick and rubble walls from the large urban mansion in the Domestic Area. A lot of attention was given to the preservation of the eastern arcade of private courtyard XXV (see Domestic Area, August 10-16), of which two of the four arches were detached from the rest of the wall and leaning over heavily toward the west. Thanks to Paola's efforts, it will be possible to keep them in the position they are in today. Part of Paola's team also moved to the Roman Baths for pointing and for removing three corner ashlars, which are at risk of falling, as a stone below them was completely fissured and cracked during last year's winter. As cranes could no longer reach this spot, a huge tripod, each of its legs weighing over 300 kilos, had to be set up and tested by three dozen of workmen. Eventually everything worked, and the stones could be lifted safely. On the ground level the vaults of the Baths' vestibule and of its public toilet were repaired.
In the meantime, conservators Erik Risser and Matteo Chiandussi also managed--besides completing all casts from the pantheon incorporated into the Lower Agora's northeast approach (see August 3-9)--to put together various fragments of a nice ambon plate from the church on Alexander's Hill, dating around A.D. 500 (see Alexander's Hill, July 6-12). This was done with epoxy resin and fiberglass bars. In the conservation lab, the small finds conservators (supervised by Nerina De Silva) also performed miracles on the sometimes heavily corroded metals (see August 3-9).