Thursday, June 11, 2015

Cosa Update: Day 9

The Cosa expedition is developing nicely; today was our 9th day on site and we had another exciting day of discoveries.

In Facade Sounding 5 the crew uncovered that the street immediately outside the bath complex was in-line with the overarching Cosa grid plan. This helps us understand the relationships between the bath complex, the forum, the housing insula and the remainder of the site. In addition to the street paving, Allison and her team further defined the entrance to the bath complex and uncovered a few column bases suggesting that the entrance to the baths had a portico, just like the Applebee's down the street in the USA. Great job everyone in Facade Sounding 5!!!

Excavations continued in Central Sounding 1, with Sophie and her team delicately tilling the soil and finding a few joining fragments of a fluted labrum stand that (likely) accompanies those from Western Cistern 2. The Central Sounding 1 crew continues to excavate along their section of wall, uncovering new answers and formulating new interpretations of the rooms within the bath complex. Excellent work Central Sounding 1 crew!!!

The crew in Western Cistern 2 further defined the herringbone floor discovered yesterday, though sadly without the assistance of Megan 'Big Africa' Moulos. We missed you today Big Africa!!! Ana and her crew were joined today by the very helpful use of a ladder and have dug approximately 2 meters down from their starting point. Very impressive work Western Cistern 2 crew!!!

Progress in the Bucket Room continues, which is incredibly important for helping us understand the primary mechanism for water delivery into the bath cisterns. In this trench the excavation depth has also reached approximately 2 meters, with Andrea and Darby doing most of the work with varied assistance throughout the day from the other trench crews. An early afternoon bulk collapse led to a valiant effort to recover lost tools and pride in the Bucket Room, which was successfully completed later in the day. We look forward to learning more about the Cosa bath complex from this trench and thanks for the amazing progress so far!

Last but not least, Ann valiantly led the team in Eastern Puteal 1 to continue their journey through the ever-changing soil color schemes in the trench. This morning we excavated "Stanley," an ashy deposition layer that revealed a new void-like feature abutting the Puteal cistern wall in the southern sector of our trench. The waning afternoon hours allowed a few moments to further define the ashy layer and peer deeper into the void. After generating a lot of excitement early on, the ashy layer seems like it could prove to be a significant hurdle in our endeavors to understand the purpose and relationships of Eastern Puteal 1 to the Cosa forum, the bathing complex, and the housing insulae. Well done Eastern Puteal 1 team, keep it up!!!

Overall, spirits remain extremely high (as long as the afternoon clouds continue to move in) and everyone gets incredibly excited to hear the sound of the imagery drone in the air. Many crew members have even begun to look into the air and wave when it comes zipping by. Several folks from the excavation crew have also endured the pilgrimage to the Mithraeum near the forum in an attempt to understand some of the religious and cult functions of the site. Stay tuned here for more information and further developments from Cosa as the excavation season continues to march along!!!

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