PFP 2010 - summary of results

PFP 2010 - summary of results

The 2010 campaign of the Porolissum Forum Project was conducted June 21-July 30 with a Team of about 45 members. We focused on areas 22 and 23, first explored in 2009 and in doing so were able to revise our understaning of the Roman phases (please note that we prefer to maintain information posted for previous years in order to indicate our evolving understanding of the site. The chronological information here supersedes the information posted in summaries of previous years).

Areas 22 and 23 to the west and southwest of the courtyard contain a series of superimposed architectural features whose functions still remain unclear. As noted in the results of the 2009 season, the features are partially united by three parallel walls, which represent the earliest stone phase. These walls have been re-dated to the time of Antoninus Pius based upon pottery and coins (we had previously underestimated the extent of construction during the Antonine phase). The walls are massive with a width of 90 cm; thus, they represent a public building of uncertain nature. Similar walls were noted on the north side of the courtyard - PFP 2007, Trench 10, but no chronological information was gained at the time. Based upon the homogeneous architecture, we can now date these walls. Therefore, at least two large public buildings stood in the area of the forum by the mid 2nd century AD.

The Antonine structure appears to have been systematically dismantled for unknown reasons - there is no evidence of sudden destruction, by fire, for example. The walls were razed to a common level and a new floor preparation was installed (similar actions occurred to the north building). The second major stone phase dates to the Severan period. There is evidence that building stones were recycled from the Antonine building. The Severan buildings include the cocciopesto floor we encountered in 2009 and again in 2010. Several walls use the razed Antonine walls as foundations; in other cases the Severan walls did not conform at all to the earlier building. Three apses have been revealed in this complex. Moreover, a hypocaust system was unearther in contiguous Area 23. We hesitate to call this a bath, but considering the population of Porolissum was at least 10,000 (20-25,000 by some estimates) more than one bath complex is likely and the cistern revealed in 2007 and 2008 lies nearby. We did not learn much more about the final phase, but unearthed the kinds of features we have seen in previous seasons, including a late hearth.

2010 was a wonderful season, but we experienced a tremendous loss. Just one month after the conclusion of the field season, on Sept. 4, the founder of the Forum Project, Alexandru Matei passed away.

PFP 2010, Trench 23PFP 2010, Trench 22L