Roman Baths: July 13-24, 2008
During the second and third week of the campaign the team directed by Marie Lefère (K.U.Leuven, Belgium), Hasan Uzunoglu (Mimar Sinan Üniversitesi, Istanbul), Ozan Yildirim (Kocaeli Üniversitesi, Izmit) continued excavating outside the Roman Baths. Firstly we started cleaning the praefurnium, as part of the structure where the half-circular bath is standing, is collapsing. Excavations were therefore cancelled and the whole team moved to the sector between the west and east wall of the baths.
During the first week of the campaign we already exposed another row of ashlars at the south wall of the second tepidarium and underneath this row, so far one ashlar has been gone. This might be part of a window. However in front of this some kind of terrace has been built, consisting of two ashlars and rubble. This has been built against the south wall. However, this terrace is not built against the whole wall. At the both sides (east and west) there appears to be some kind of a gap. At the east side there appears to be some kind of water channel that has been blocked up in a later time. This waterchannel consists of tuffa blocks and had two coins in it. At the west side, there also appears to be some kind of gap, however, in that area no floor has been reached so far.
Against this first terrace a second terrace seems to be built. However, this is not that high as the first one. This terrace is also built of other material than the first one. This second terrace is built of mortar and brick rubble. Above this terrace some kind of floor substrate could be seen. This floor substrate consists of a very clayish layer with lots of material. In this floorsubstrate two concentrations could be seen. These concentrations consisted mainly of broken vessels, which can be associated with dining. When lifting the vessels it was clear that their content was still in place, as the material underneath was very compacted and almost sticking to the different sherds. The first concentration consisted of two vessels above one another, while the other concentration existed of a very compact clayish layer, which was almost impossible to remove.
Important is also that a marble floor was reached within the two walls. We studied the floor and took points of both this marble floor and the marble floor of the bath inside the praefurnium, to see if they are on the same level, which was not the case. The floor inside the praefurnium appears to be 10 cm higher than the one outside the walls. Next to the floor another terrace could be seen, however this terrace is not at the same height as the second and first one. This last terrace seems to be the lowest one, 20 cm lower than the second one.
Next to the second terrace, probably coming from the first terrace, a small altar was found. On this altar an inscription could be seen, probably a dedication.
Except for a general cleaning excavations are finished in that part of the building, so by the beginning of the third week our team moved to the tepidarium II area, where we left last year. Two profile banks could be seen there, so we started excavations there, in order to find the possible wall between the frigidarium and tepidarium. At first only the top bank was removed and already traces of a brick wall could be seen.
We also started excavating along the inner part of the south wall, in order to see how this part of the wall was built and there we already encountered three butresswalls as we did last year. The excavation of this tepidarium is also almost completed. In the next few days we will finish exposing the butresswalls of the south wall, as the brick wall between the tepidarium and frigidarium.