The Macellum: August 3-14, 2008
The work in the Macellum under the direction of Karin Schuitema (Leiden), Sevgi Gerçek (Istanbul) and Aude Goovaerts (Leuven), concentrated on the northern part of the portico and the northern shops behind it during the fifth and sixth week.
The excavations continued farther to the north, in order to find the more northern shops behind the portico and the northern part of the portico itself. Somewhere in the north we also hope to find the northern edge of the Macellum. To the east we found a more northern part of the outer wall of the Macellum, orientated north-south, which was already discovered in the south in the previous weeks. To the west of this back wall the shops are located, which are closed farther to the west by a north-south orientated wall by which the portico in the west is separated from the shops to the east. A door opening in this original back wall of the portico gives access to a third shop that is found behind it (to the east). The southern wall of this shop was already discovered in the previous period. Now the northern wall enclosing this space was found, which was orientated east-west. In the south there is a door opening to a more southern shop.
Even farther to the north another door opening is found of which the fallen doorjambs, which are recarved from faceted columns, will possibly be placed back into their original upright position. From this door opening a fourth shop is reached from the portico. In the fill of this northern part of the portico a metal ring is discovered, decorated with an eagle at the front and two small stars at the sides. Pieces of plaster were found in this part of the portico fill.
In the eastern side of the northern wall enclosing this fourth room a door opening is located. This door possibly leads to another shop in the north. In the fill of this shop lots of collapse of roof- and wall material appeared.
Also large pieces of ceramics came out of this fill, often slipped open ware, as well as an ceramic decorated miniature wheel and a ceramic head of a human figurine.
The three shops described above were of similar dimensions, 2.16 metres in length, and can be dated to the 6th century AD, just as the spaces that were found to the south earlier this campaign and the inside walls build in the original portico of the second century AD.
The first room found this year in the Macellum, was located in the portico. The window in the northern wall of this room contained re-used blocks, spolia. These blocks showed inscriptions, which were not readable yet, since either parts of the wall were on top of it or because they were used upside down. The same can be said for the re-used blocks in the door opening in the southern wall of the room in the portico. Therefore, these blocks were taken out in order to read them. Afterwards they were placed back into their original position through anastylosis. These re-used blocks appeared to be pieces of the same architrave with inscriptions (dating to the second century AD) of which parts were already found in the Macellum last year.