490
07 Nov 2018

Das Ostia Marina Projekt 2018

Photo 1: Caseggiato delle Due Scale (room 7 en 8) seen from the Via della Marciana, before the excavations (2014)1

Also in 2018 there has been an excavation campaign in the area outside the Porta Marina in Ostia Antica. This year the emphasis was on further examination of the Caseggiato delle due Scale, and an area next to the Mitreum with the coloured marbles. We had three interviews with archaeologists from the staff, who worked in this campaign under the direction of professor Massimiliano David.

Photo 2: Stefano de Togni and Camilla Rosati

STEFANO DE TOGNI
Coordinator and technical scientific director on the site.

Question: How many years does this project exists already?
Stefano: “This is the twelfth excavation season. The first was in 2007. We started exploring the site followed by a series of geophysical tests with a magnetometer and ground radar. This led in 2008 to the first stratigraphic test of the excavation area which, from that year on, is running each year again."

Question: What did you find in those years?
Stefano: "First up we brought to light the so-called Terme di Sileno (the bath house of Silenus). This bath house occupies the Central Western part of room IX. Then we discovered completely the Caseggiato delle Due Scale (the building with the two staircases) that we originally named Caseggiato lungo la Via della Marciana (the building alongside the street of Marciana). So this is a part of the new city quarter outside the Porta Marina uncovered by the Ostia Marina project during the first years."

Photo 3: Consultation in room 2 of the Caseggiato delle Due Scale around the rectangular column. Behind room 2 we see shop 3.

Question: What did you discover in the following years?
Stefano:: "In 2014 we excavated, immediately north of the Caseggiato delle Due Scale, the Caupona di dio Pan (the bar of the god Pan).2 The Southern façade of both the Caupona and the Caseggiato delle due Scale form one large facade along the Via della Marciana.”

Question: Do you have a specific goal this year?
Stefano: "This year, during the twelfth campaign, we are engaged in the excavation of a particular space in the Caseggiato delle Due Scale, room 3, a shop with a view on the Via della Marciana. In this accommodation, directly south of the Caupona di Dio Pan we have found a series of floor elevations that allows us to determine the chronology of the occupation of this area exactly, especially for the earlier phases of habitation."

Question: With how many people are you working this year?
Stefano: “This year we’re working with 25 persons. Five members of the staff and twenty students. Most of them are students from the University of Bologna.”

Foto 4: The removed soil is carefully examined for any finds.

Question: At the end of the previous campaign everything was covered up. How long does it take before the site is re-opened again and further research can start?
Stefano: "That is a fairly precise operation but we can do it quickly. For this job, we have developed a special system. Already on the first day we start with opening up the archaeological surfaces that came to light the year before. These were covered with special protective cloths. First we remove the cover above the surfaces we wish to work on and then we start. The cover will only be removed one time in its entirety, but then permanently, when the whole project is ready."

 

CAMILLA ROSATI 
Member of the staff – materials

Question: Camilla, what’s the art of your work?
Camilla: “I’m responsible for the materials coming here straight away from the excavation. The materials will be washed, cleaned and inventoried. Together with the students I check the boxes with finds.”

Question: What kind of material has been found in general?
Camilla:"Here in Ostia that can be all possible materials well know from the Roman period and late classical time. The most common are ceramics, bricks, metals such as iron, bronze and lead. But also material of stone and coloured stucco plaster. In addition to archaeological finds there are anthropological and vegetable objects as well.”

Question: What happens with the material coming here from the site?
Camilla:"The material that comes in is first ordered. After that, it is washed by the students. If the material is cleaned with a dry brush, a part will be divided in main and sub categories. Then we put together lists of the contents of the boxes. Then these boxes with the finds go to new depots to be studied."

Photo 4: Students washing the found objects.
Photo 5: Dino Lombardo

 

DINO LOMBARDO
Technical scientific staff member of the Ostia Marina Project.

Question: Dino, how many years have you been working for the Ostia Marina Project?
Dino: “I work here already eight years. It’s the eighth year I excavate under the direction of Professor Massimiliano David 3."

Question: Do you like this project and if yes, why?
Dino: “Yes, I like it very much because we succeed in studying the last phase of this offshoot of the city of Ostia. On that last phase in relation to the rest of the city especially we know very little. I have to say that my interests are focused on late Antiquity and in particular on Christian Antiquity.”

Question: Stefano told me that this year there will be worked specially on room 3 of the Caseggiato delle Due Scale?
Dino: “We decided this because this space is the only one we haven’t excavated and surveyed deeply, but only superficially. Now we examine the layers related to the phases of the late medieval looting.”

Question: How far are you at this moment?
Dino: "The work is about halfway and so is the campaign. At this moment we are mainly engaged in phases of the modern looting, a theme little treated in Ostia. There are clear traces of that looting visible. Besides that, we also have studied the layers related to the first phase of life of this Caseggiato, which can be dated to the time of Hadrian.”

 

THE CASEGGIATO DELLE DUE SCALE
(A report from Stefano de Togni)

Photo7 :Plan of th excavations of the Ostia Marina Project

The eastern area of block IX in region IV of Ostia was first explored during ground work in the context of the construction of E424. In 1971, during excavations focused on the restoration of the already discovered walls, the area was further excavated. The East side of space IX was then taken up by a caseggiato (building block) along the Via della Marciana, the street that forms the eastern border (photo 7).   
Recent investigations in the framework of the Ostia Marina Project have shown that it was actually not one but two separate buildings. The southern building got the name of Caseggiato delle due Scale (building with the two staircases), because of the Special layout on the ground floor. The Northern building was called the Caupona del Dio Pan. The House with the two staircases is a large building in which you can see well different parts of the floor plan and parts of the increases, which at various points on the first floor have been preserved.

Photo 8: Terme di Seleno alongside the road to Fiumicino

The Western Wall is not directly in contact with the Terme di Sileno but is separated by a three-metre-wide lane.
The southern border, now provided by the fence of the archaeological park, must have been determined originally by the course of the road along the coast. The total space that is taken up amounts to about 1000 square meters.
Originally the building had a patio on the north side, on which, in the middle of the third century, the Caupona ' del Dio Pan ' was built.

Photo 9: Caseggiato delle Due Scale with the three building phases..

Phase 1: The building at the time of Adrianus (first half of second century AD.) 
The first building of the caseggiato was carried out almost entirely in opus reticolatum mixtum5.
In the two-foot projections of space 1 and 2 three stone stamps dating to the third Consulate of Servianus6 (134 AD) have been found. In this phase, the building was constructed with at least two floors. The special format shows a broad Central Corridor (space 8) with two entrances opposite each other, whereby people could reach the upper floor through two symmetrical staircases (space 5 and 6).

Photo 10: Caseggiato delle due scale. Mosaic floor from the 
time of Hadrian. 

One of the two space, number 5, includes a floor in opus spicatum7.
The central part of area 8 should have been covered. The part on the north side of the corridor was formed by two square inner spaces (space 1 and 2) equipped with a black and white mosaic floor of which some fragments have been preserved. Especially in these rooms you could see well how the subfloors were constructed. They mainly consisted of layers painted and scratched stucco that probably was used to protect the floor from the high humidity due to the proximity of the sea8. The paintings on the decorated stucco were from the end of the first century AD.
The layout on the South side is difficult to interpret, partly because little of this side has been preserved.
Room number 10 may have been another open air space. Perhaps with a small impluvium9.
The building was probably meant for both residential and commercial purposes and is similar, for example, to the Caseggiato dei Dipinti in Ostia.

Photo 11: Caseggiato dei Dipinti in Ostia

Phase 2: The shops
The large quadrangular space overlooking the Via della Marciana is divided into two smaller rooms by a wall in opus testaceum (brick). The two elongated compartments (space 3 and 4) can be interpreted as shops, the spaces 1 and 2 on the other hand, as areas behind the shop. On the basis of the stone stamps found here it is possible to date this phase before the beginning of the third century.

Photo 12: The floor in space 4

In Shop 4 various pieces of a black and white mosaic floor, which certainly belongs to this building phase, have been preserved. The mosaic is better preserved on the South side of the room. It consists of a geometric mosaic characterized by octagons of which the majority is regularly, a small part is irregularly and rectangular. The special place of the mosaic suggests that it was meant to impress the customers entering the shop from the Via della Marciana.

Phase 3: The workshops and the Terme dello Scheletro.
In the fourth century the building underwent a series of reorganizations. In the middle of room 2 a square, brick pillar was constructed, probably to strengthen the building.  
The quadrangular space that overlooked the Via della Marciana in the South Wing and the areas south and West of this space are interesting because of the construction of a small indoor bath house, the so-called Terme dello Scheletro (the bathhouse of the skeleton).

Photo 13: Terme dello Scheletro10

In the shops (areas 1, 2, 4) evidence has been found of a reorganization showing a new exploitation of the space for the benefit of artisans and commerce, perhaps related to metalworkers. The ground floor in all three areas is characterized by progressive raised platforms, which examined three consecutive wrought-iron levels. Each of these platforms obtained an extreme amount of scattered coins to a total of 696 pieces. The chronology of the coins allows us to date this phase to the end of the fourth and the beginning of the fifth century AD.

 

Photo 14: The excavations during the seventies of the past century.

 

  • notes:
  • 1:Photo: Stefano de Togni 2014 (published in www.ostia-antica.org).
  • 2: See our article 'The last Mithras Sanctuary'
  • 3:Professor Massimiliano David is scientifical director of the Ostia Marina Project
  • 4:E42- Esposizione Universale di Roma (EUR), or the worldexhibition of 1942 in Rome. Due to worldwar II the exhibition was cancelled. Also the great excavationcampaign at Ostia by Guido Calza had to be an important part of that exhibition..
  • 5: Opus mistum: constructiontechniche in which small, square stones of tuff are alternated with brick..
  • 6: Lucius Iulius Ursus Servianus (45-136), Roman consul
  • 7: Opus spicatum is a floorcovering built in a fishbone pattern.
  • 8: Probably the material came from the neighbourhood buildings demolsihed during the renowing of the city in the time of Hadrian.
  • 9:A rectangular reservoir in the floor collecting rainwater.
  • 10:Photo David - De Togni
  • -Photo 2, 3, 4 and 6 : Anne Mara Muijsson-Tideman
  • -Graphics: Stefano de Togni

Schätzen Sie unsere Arbeit?

Bitte unterstützen Sie uns mit einer Spende

Neueste Artikel & Projekte

Rettung für Roms Hafenstadt

Rettung für Roms Hafenstadt

Gefährdete Marmorpracht: Seit zehn Jahren arbeiten Berliner Archäologen in Ostia.....

Weiterlesen ...

Narbonne, Tor zur keltischen Welt (Englisch)

Narbonne, Tor zur keltischen Welt (Englisch)

Narbonne, gate to the Celtic world, has been frequently described by geographers and historians in ancient times.........

Weiterlesen ...

Das Kollegium, die römische Gilde (Englisch)

Das Kollegium, die römische Gilde (Englisch)

Somewhere in the first century AD., when exactly is unknown, these skippers united themselves in a professional association, a collegium..........

Weiterlesen ...

Londinium (Englisch)

Londinium (Englisch)

In their hunger to bring the rest of the world also under their influence for enjoying their "civilization, peace and prosperity ' . ........

Weiterlesen ...

Eine Jüdische port für den Kaiser (Englisch)

Eine Jüdische port für den Kaiser (Englisch)

On a coastal plain in north-central Israel, between Tel Aviv and Haifa the famous port city Caesarea Maritima was built between 20 and 10 BC. ........

Weiterlesen ...
Zuletste neuigkeiten

About Roman Ports

Amor and PsycheWe are committed to providing versions of our articles and interviews in several languages, but our first language is English.

Please become a member of the Facebook group, which is our main communication platform. There you can learn about upcoming events and items of interest, post your own photos, or share any stories or general questions you may have.

If you have specific questions about our organisation, questions about financial issues, if you would like to assist in the production of our online magazine, or if you have specific requests or ideas for content, use our contactform below. You can contact us in any language!