The 2008 season began with excavation to the south of the rectangular room, where in 2007 we had found a foliate-carved column buried under a badly made wall. The badly made wall extends to the southwest from Wall E, the southern wall of the rectangular room, and then meets another wall extending to the southeast. This L can be seen on Ciotti\‘s plan and was visible on the surface in our clearing of the site in 2004. At that time it was already much degraded. The L must have enclosed two sides of a room, which was certainly heated, and may have received a flow of heat from the rectangular room. At its southeastern end, however, it is almost completely obliterated; it consists of only one course of bricks.
About 30 cm. west of the wall hiding the column and parallel to it, a line of flat glass shards appeared in the soil. Excavation produced many more of these, some of which could be joined to form a window pane measuring at least 35 × 33 cm. The unusually large size of the pane suggests a high level of technological refinement, which contrasts with the puzzlingly shoddy character of the wall into which it was set. This building has presented us with many surprising features, which tend to indicate that the structure was rebuilt numerous times over the course of centuries.
We also began to explore the massive wall in opus polygonale, built of massive dressed boulders, not rectangular and not laid in courses, located 50 m. to the east of the baths. Its construction most closely resembles that of the opus polygonale walls around Sant\‘Erasmo, on a mountaintop above Carsulae. A stretch of more than six meters is preserved to a maximum height of about three meters above the level of the fossa, which runs directly up to its southern face. The wall extends roughly SE to NW, and on the eastern end of its exposure, an irregular wall or deposit of boulders abuts it at a right angle.
Excavation on its western end revealed a series of boulders that form a wall at a right angle to the opus polygonale wall and which lead directly toward the center piling of the opus caementicum cistern that served the baths in the Imperial period. It is very thick, and it will require more excavation to determine whether it is a wall or the edge of a terrace, such as the one below the town of Cesi just a few kilometers away; that one has been interpreted as a basis villae. These two walls are exactly aligned with the walls of the baths 50 meters to the west. This would suggest that the two structures may have had some connection to each other in function, and that the baths, which must be later, made use of the older structure in some way.
On top of the boulders on the eastern side, between the opus polygonale wall and the five stone steps leading to the Via Flaminia, emerged a platform of cocciopesto paved with terracotta tiles. Part of it lies on top of the opus polygonale wall, though at a right angle to it, and appears to be a step for access to this massive feature or to the fossa below it. This is further evidence that the later Romans used the older structure for some purpose, and that purpose was probably related to the baths.
- Jane K. Whitehead - Valdosta State University Foundation Dep Modern and Classical Languages College of arts and Sciences, Georgia, USA
- Patricia Foley
- Bianca Fossà - ICR
- Massimo Cardillo
- Valdosta State University Foundation Dep Modern and Classical Languages College of arts and Sciences, Georgia, USA
- Associazione per la Salvaguardia del Patrimonio Storico di San Gemini
- Newhouse Foundation
- Shoreland Foundation
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