News from the 2000 campaign
October part one | October part two | November
View over the site on the second day of excavation (September
19th, 2000, KK).
Recording the height of the modern surface with a level (September 19th,
Finds lab in the garden of the excavation house (September 19th, 2000,
September 21st, 2000
After one day of relatively unexciting field work, the second day of excavation brought archaeological remains in almost all trenches. The most important result is the fact that we were able to find positive traces of the Roman road system and the living floors of the adjacent houses and buildings. In three trenches these floors seem to be covered by a compact destruction layer containing pottery and some bronze coins, suggesting that we are dealing with a large scale phenomenon. This destruction layer or layer of abandonment is tentatively dated to the second half of the 7th century A.D. The finds, which are presently processed in the finds laboratory may give more clues as to the precise dating of this layer.
Trench 6, South-East corner. Remains of the dividing wall (?) between
living quarter Insula S112 and the Roman road Decumanus 1-South (September
20th, 2000, KK).
Trench 5, South-West corner. Remains of a Roman white and blue mosaic
floor covered by a compact layer of destruction material, perhaps dating
to the second half of the 7th century A.D. (September 20th, 2000, KK).
Trench 1, North-East corner. Foundation of the Eastern dividing wall
between Insula S110 and the Roman crossroad Cardo IX, with a drain running
to the left of it. (September 20th, 2000, KK)
September 23rd, 2000
After having established in every trench the depth of the modern layers,
heavy digging equipment (a so-called JCB) was brought in to remove this
surface stratum. In trenches 3, 4, 5, and 6 a homogeneous compact level
lies directly below (September 22nd, 2000, KK).
In trench 5 the half of a large Roman column base was found at the bottom
of a modern rubbish pit (September 22nd, 2000, KK).
It was decided to take advantage of the presence of the JCB to lift
the column base (September 22nd, 2000, KK).
The column base may have belonged to some nearby Roman or Byzantine
building (September 22nd, 2000, KK).
September 27th, 2000
The excavation of trenches 1 and 2 was conducted by Lamia Fersi, Massimo Zanfini, Kathrin Kleibl and
six Tunisian workmen, supervised by Lidewijde de Jong.
Trench one is located
on the suspected corner of two Roman roads: Cardo 9 and Decumanus 1-South.
The first two days we dug through a layer of modern dump (including Coca-Cola
bottles, plastic bags and toys), which seemed to continue at least till
a depth of one meter below the actual surface. A bulldozer (JCB) was hired
on the third day to remove this layer of dump.
Directly below the
modern fill several ancient structures appeared, possibly dating to the
Byzantine or Late Roman period: the foundations of a wall with a small
drain along its western face; a stone wall in the south-eastern quarter;
two small cisterns; a pit or well and a third wall in the north-western
quarter of the trench.Although the interpretation
of these structures can only start after the trench is completely cleaned
and cleared of modern rubbish, trees and the like, their presence seems
to indicate that the Cardo and the Decumanus are probably not located on
their suspected course within the boundaries of trench 1.
Trench 2 was set
out along the line of the Decumanus 1-South. Directly under the topsoil
a very compact layer appeared, filled with pottery, stones, tesserae (mosaic-stones)
and fragments of architecture. In the same layer also five (Byzantine?)
coins were found. The layer probably covers a level of habitation, but
no structures, such as walls or floors, have been uncovered up till now.
(September 26th, 2000, Lidewijde
Trench 2 (September 24th, 2000, KK).