Monday, December 29, 2008

An apsidal building

We shall start this post and apologise in advance for vagueness in the details. This structure was discovered in 1934 and reported by William Campbell in the writeup in the AJA of Jan-March 1936. Our task now will be to find if this ever advanced to any more examination of became one of those projects mouldering in the basement in Princeton.

Here are his comments:

"In the northeast section of the ancient city, not far from the Gate of Saint Paul, the excavation of another large monument was begun. The work was hampered by seepage from springs along the foot of Mount Stauris nearby, but we succeeded in reaching the floor level of the original building in the area explored. This is in an apse with a square exterior constructed of large, finely dressed blocks of native limestone, set dry without clamps; behind it is a pavement of heavy slabs of limestone. The rebuilding of the superstructure and the stratification above the remains gave an unusually clear history of the site from the early Empire through the Middle Ages. There are evidences of minor repairs throughout the Imperial period and of a very severe destruction, probably caused by the earthquake of 526; and of a later reconstruction, both in brick work and in masonry, characteristic of the reign of Justinian. Soon afterward a great holocaust left the place a ruin for all time, and one may ascribe this fire to the invasion of Chosroes, who put the city to fire and sword. In the Middle Ages the apse was used as a pottery kiln for glazed ware, and finally the district became cultivated land."

This sounds rather like the building that Hugh Kennedy links to the "imperial" baths (F).

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