News from the 2000 campaign

September | October part one | October part two | November

September 19th, 2000

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, 2000, KK).

Finds lab in the garden of the excavation house (September 19th, 2000, KK).

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 de Jong)

Trench 2 (September 24th, 2000, KK).