Daniel Roger (Louvre Museum, Curator) Steve Glisoni (Inrap)
How Eveha Participates
The fourth excavation campaign on Gabies site (Rome and Lazio regions) took place in July 2017 under the direction of the Louvre Museum in collaboration with the Archaeological Superintendence of Rome. It was supervised by a member of the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (Inrap), himself assisted by contract staff from Eveha International and volunteers, mainly from the Archaeological Service of the City of Lyon and the Louvre School.
This year, the excavation was extended westwards and southwards to reach 500 m². This expansion was aimed at responding to the three main objectives of the campaign, i.e. :
– to complete the information previously acquired on the east-west street improvements (VO 1);
– to clear the building (AU 2) to the south in order to better define its extension;
– to open a new aera to the west of the AU 1 in order to get an overview of the remains of this sector of Juno Gabina’s sanctuary. This latter could be linked to the cavea and a possible theatrical building.
Reaserch continued on the east-west street. Although its north sidewalk does not seem to extend beyond the remains already discovered, a long section of its south sidewalk has been cleared. It appears to be of the same design as the first elements uncovered earlier, but has a slightly curvilinear appearance towards the north-west and ends shortly before the present western berm of the site. This variation in orientation could be explained by the anteriority of the installation of the roadway compared to the work of monumentalization of the sanctuary in the 2nd century BC, which would then have led to a modification of its layout. The study of the south building (AU 2) could confirm this hypothesis. Indeed, the rooms of the latter overlooking the street follow clearly more the orientation of the first supposed state of the road than that of the sacred complex.
The new stripping of this southern building (AU 2) has also enabled the discovery of two rooms to the west, both with access to the street. An adjoining room to the south, already partially studied in 2014, was also almost completly cleared. The excavation focused on the building’s entrance corridor and the first adjacent room to the west; the latter contained a late burial, excavated in 2014.
Major evolutions were made in the southeast corner of the sanctuary. The southern wall has thus been cleared over twenty additional metres, leading in particular to the identification of a new buttress. Just north of it, a large L-shaped foundation, doubled by a projection, probably linked to two other pillar or column foundations, have been unearthed in front of the hemicycle footprint visible in the present relief. It could be the remains of a stage building.
Finally, the extension of the excavation to the west led to the discovery of the burial of an immature who may have been buried between the 6th and 3rd centuries BC. Two glass beads and three bullae of ferrous metal or copper alloy were placed next to him.
The remarkable archaeologcal artefacts collected this year include the ornamentation accompanying the young deceased, a fragment of marble statuary and two figurative fragments of Campana type plaque, as well as numerous fragments of painted polychrome plaster.
Micromorphological analyses are currently underway. They will help characterize precisely the levels prior to the construction of the monumental sanctuary. Similarly, the results of a geophysical survey conducted in the area west of our excavation zone and on the temple terrace are expected.
The architectural evolution of the south-eastern corner of the sanctuary is now globally understood. The 2018 campaign will thus essentially aim at characterizing the southern building and confirming or invalidating its domus status, by extending the excavation expanse southwards and eastwards.