During the last week of the excavations, Inge Uytterhoeven and Nele Goeminne's team further explored room XLIII (see August 17-23) in the Domestic Area mansion. Because the final days of the week were reserved for protecting the site for the winter, we didn't reach the floor level in this room. After removing the topsoil and a second erosion layer, it became clear that Room XL had originally been accessible from corridor XLII through a 2.90-meter-wide door in its northern wall. The inner face of the eastern doorpost was still covered with white stucco. The width of this door was later reduced to 1.90 meters. Finally, the whole door was completely blocked, possibly in order to separate the southern rooms of the dwelling from its central and northern parts.
On the west side, we found that the northern wall of Room XLIII turned at a right angle to enclose the corridor with purple schist slabs (XLII) and the staircase to the upper floor. However, we unearthed only 1.5 m of this north-south wall. To get a better picture of the relation between Rooms XLIII and XL, we dug along the east wall of Room XLIII, exposing a destruction layer of rubble, mortar fragments, and tiles. This division wall turned out to be preserved much better towards the south, and we exposed the southern post of the door (see August 17-23 for the northern post). This door had also been blocked during the final occupation of the dwelling, possibly in connection with a further subdivision of the mansion into smaller housing units.
The investigation of these rooms in the most southern zone of the excavation area provided further evidence for numerous construction phases during the mansion's long occupation (possibly six centuries). This was also the case with the courtyard complex excavated during the previous weeks.