In Gortyn the excavation of the block of the Nymphaeum permits us not only to get more of a feel for the arrangement, meaning and importance of the area’s urban space, but also to clarify its chronological development and the phases of its monumentalization. As a result, a division into broad periods, themselves divided into phases, can be made, to follow autonomous lines of development and reflect the different social systems that, as time goes by, manage the city’s community and architectural life of the city. As we have seen, the history of the area began in the Hellenistic period with the construction of Temple A, which marks the caesura between the urban area, the archaic sanctuary of Apollo Pythios and the public spaces of the city. From the outset, the temple marked, since the very beginning, the passage of the two axial streets that shaped the monumental undertaking of the following phases and make the crossroads one of the places in the city where it is still possible to read an important construction sequence with a high visibility impact. As suggested, the likely dedication of the temple to the Nymphs could already be a sign of a privileged relationship between the area and the springs, a relationship that cannot be followed more fully before the Imperial Age. This first period has only one phase, which comprises the structures of the cella of the temple, visible only at the level of sub-foundation, some fragments of the preparation of the cella’s pavement, and some paving slabs. Standing walls and the original structures of the pronaos are missing, indicating a later rebuilding. A lead pipe (US 3431) datable to this period, witnesses attention to the water supply as early as the Hellenistic period, putting the foundation of the temple at the beginning of a new urban phase of the area. On the other hand, even in the agora, the presence of sewage pipes datable to the beginning of the third century seems to attest a quite complex water management, as it relates to the river Mitropolianos and shows the necessity of an adduction and discharge system in preparation for the urbanization of these districts. The second period includes phases 2-5 and a time frame spanning the whole Imperial Age until about AD 360. The architectural history of the area in this period, although with some breaks and afterthoughts, seems to retain the need for monumentality. A relationship with the water system in the neighbourhood remains constant and finds a strong presence in the construction of buildings that, through euergetism, underlines the importance of waterworks. In the second phase the temple is renovated, mostly in the pronaos area. The layers of emplecton (US 3249, 3367, 3375, 3395) and the floor level (US 3252, 3331) of the pronaos and those on which the temple steps were laid before being robbed (US 3233, 3247, 3248, 3256, 3261) produce ceramics of the Augustan Age. These layers and related structures clearly show a total rebuilding of the shrine. New buildings, whose function and type are not always identifiable, overlook the plateia to the South of the temple. In the East, a structure whose threshold has been found in situ is built. It has been grooved in a way so as to house the sliding lower leaf of a folding door. The original dimensions of the building are not known, because its eastern part was destroyed by the construction of the later Nymphaeum. It was originally divided into two spaces. At the moment, it is not possible to determine its function, but position and form make it feasible to hypothesize a public character. On the temple’s eastern side, there are more faint signs, but some blocks of walls under the later Caput aquae and various terracotta pipes demonstrate the attempt at a more coherent organization of the water adduction system, maybe in relation to the so-called Praetorium on the opposite side of Street 1. The next phase (phase 3) sees no substantial changes in the block, with the exception of a general renovation of the crossroads. In subphase 3a, it is more clearly defined with the construction of a small shrine (Temple C, a probable compitum) immediately in the East of Street 1, around the beginning of second century A.D. This building, now replaced by later structures, had a pronaos and cella and might have had architectural decoration similar to that of the temple, albeit on a smaller scale. The chronologic definition of the subphase 3a is exclusively based on the analysis of walls (US 3336, 3337, 3338, 3340, 3341, 3369, 3373), which seem to anticipate the typologies of Antonine age, but with some difference in the execution. In the area of the crossroads, some water pipes can be attributed to this subphase. The construction of the paved street should be dated to the Antonineage (phase 3b), , on the basis of an inscription and the materials found in the floor preparation (US 3304). At the same time, Street 1 experiences its first narrowing, due to the construction of an unidentified monument, whose remains are visible immediately to the West of the shrine. Phase 4a, datable to the second half of the second century A.D., corresponds to few structural interventions in the eastern area of the temple. The building work seems to concentrate above all on the crossroads sector. The construction of the Caput aquae in its visible form can be assigned to this period, and constitutes an important witness of the reorganization of the hydraulic structures in the neighbourhood. The new building is located on an older structure (perhaps with the same function), and is duplicated on the other side of the street. Its western front, built originally between the Trajanic and Antonine periods, has been externally renovated, probably in connection with a Severan restoration. The arrangment of the front of the Caput, perhaps with a small fountain, is not certain, but the structure had to be monumental, due to the construction of a second water tower still visible to the west of Street 2, aligned with the eastern Caput and leaning on the shrine of the aforementioned crossroads. The whole system was surely connected in the higher part by an arch carrying the conduit between the two water towers. It attests a monumentalization of the system of water distribution in this neighbourhood, perhaps related to a more general urban programme. In the vicinity of the temple, the Augustan building in the eastern sector was dismantled, perhaps in relation to the subsequent completion of some structures. The shape of these structures is not yet definable because the scant remains were obliterated by the later cistern system that serves the late antique Nymphaeum. A series of water-pipes and walls belonging to this phase could be related to the building of a prior water structure, completely hidden by the later Nymphaeum. The first half of the fourth century (phase 5) is a time of important changes. The whole area adjacent to Street 1 shows a number of signs of damage to the structures. Temple A had probably already been abandoned, but the most important building-related development is certainly the completion of the huge monumental Nymphaeum on Street 1, consisting of a series of cisterns that replaced the former structures. This new arrangment completely changed the northern facade of Street 1. Street 2 is also affected by a monumentalization with eye-catching impact. Despite the complexity of the area’s stratigraphy, it was possible to recognize three pilaster foundations which use could be to support an arch of trapezoidal plan. It probably marked the insertion of Street 2 into the grand plateia (Street 1). Such building was, perhaps, connected to a series of changes traceable in the hydraulic architecture of the crossroads, such as the raising of the eastern Caput aquae and the building of new channels that had to be linked to the central sewer. The changes of the district in this phase mostly reflect a profound cultural change in the conception of the city, with a greater attention to the development of buildings linked to the water supply system and a progressive reduction of the public apparatus connected to polytheistic cult. During the following phase (phase 6), the second half of the fourth century AD, this transformation process involving the city continues, particularly regarding public and administrative structures: the building of the Praetorium in the sixties of the century by Fortunatianus and the subsequent reorganization of its façade with columns inscribed for Oecumenius Dositheus Asclepiodotus, consularis of the province in 382, constitute its principal attestations. This intervention deeply impacts the Nymphaeum block, particularly Temple A, which in this period seems to have been transformed into a skrinion, an administrative building whose function is tightly linked to the basilica of the Praetorium. The traceable changes in the neighbourhood reflect a more general tendency changing the face of the whole city through the progressive and systematic deletion of pagan buildings and their replacement with architecture suitable for the new urban development. The arrangement of the temple area is achieved with a minimal waste of resources. The load-bearing structures of the old building have been maintained and now host the central hall and the western wing of the skrinion, the latter specifically divided into three spaces. The eastern wing, divided into three parts, takes up the space formerly occupied by the cisterns of the Nymphaeum. In the south of the new building a portico invades the sidewalk of the street and constitutes its monumental façade. In front of the portico, near the columns, inscribed bases with honorary inscriptions, one addressed to Clodius Felix Saturninus, support statues of the élite of Gortyn. They bear witness to the purpose of the building. The new arrangement affects the entire organization of the block, most noticeably in the hydraulic structures related to the Nymphaeum. In this phase, the area to the west of the temple does not seem to be affected by further changes after the construction of the pilastered arch in the crossroads area. The small shrine/compitum (Temple C) dedicated to the imperial cult, probably still exists, though not with its original function, and continues to distinguish the prospect. The Byzantine age, between 500 and the end of the seventh century retains what had been constructed during the fourth century A.D. (phase 7). In this period, the administrative buildings of the Praetorium and of the skrinion survive as functional and official structures of the city. In the initial part of phase 7, a need to renovate some urban infrastructure is discernible and, once again, this involves the waterworks. Various inscriptions record works on the aqueduct and in relation to water management. In particular, the one placed on the parapet of the Nymphaeum after its transformation into a cistern memorialises one Georgius, who between the last quarter of the fifth and the beginning of the sixth century contributed to the renovation of the city that “previously suffered thirst”. The text could point to one of the interventions connected to the most significant building of these later phases: the new urban aqueduct. Mostly completed on the plan of the former one, it is a monumental structure built ex novo, that represents the final result of a collective effort directed above all at the local level. The economic and technical commitment, which limited to the main pipeline, but comprehending all the water support and collection structures on its route, witnesses the considerable vitality of the city in the second half of the fifth and the beginning of the sixth centuries. In the area of the crossroads, the building of pillars of the new aqueduct, completed reusing the remains of the shrine/compitum (Temple C), demonstrates that the latter should have been still visible up to this point. Finally, during the seventh century, the entrance of the Praetorium, formerly facing the Pythion, now opened towards the skrinion, illustrating the new centrality of Street 1 and the tight relation between the two blocks containing the Praetorium and the Nymphaeum. This constructional intervention that seems datable the time of the emperor Heraclius is therefore concentrated exclusively on the great judicial aula, which was paved again and appointed in the form revealed by the excavation. It is only from the last part of the period, from about AD 650 on, that it is possible to see the beginning of a process of dilapidation of the public buildings, evident in the lack of maintenance of water installations among other things. The central sewage collector of Street 1 is no longer used and of necessity additional channels that run on the sides of the streets are created. In any case, this demonstrates the fact that Gortyn has still the administrative capacity to manage public spaces, such as streets and sewers, even if with more and more logistic strain. In a slightly later phase, perhaps starting from AD 670, the sewer of Street 2 in the South of the crossroads is closed, and the original pavement of the same paved street progressively dismantled. To the North of the pilastered arch, a layer of mortar with ceramic and stone inclusions constitutes a new coarse roadbed. This, however, didn’t result in the raising of the street level, but rather constitutes only a reordering of the former paved floor, tidied up with less expensive means. Probably in this same period, there were a series of structural interventions in the skrinion, which, however, didn’t alter its administrative function. The internal pavement levels of the building show a progressive raising, while the portico, dismantled, probably due to a collapse, is replaced by a continuous wall with a frontal opening and during the later phase the space obtained is partitioned by transverse walls. The end of the seventh century and the eighth century constitute a moment of crisis of urban and administrative structures, with a rapid increase in the dilapidation process already begun in the former phase (phase 8). A serious destructive event, formerly dated to the years around 670 but now instead locatable in the first half of the eighth century marks a clear break, characterised by scattered collapses and the abandonment of the imperial streets. With the eighth century, then, there is no more sign of public interventions and the residential area is reduced to the spaces near the streets, with small private houses and structures for the processing of agricultural products. The streets close to the crossroads do have later pavement levels, which progressively raise the ground level, of the end of the eighth century and the Arab conquest. The Nymphaeum block undergoes some important transformations that reflect social and administrative changes in the city. The excavation highlighted layers of abandonment and collapses of the public monumental structures and a later partial reuse of the same areas. The area of the skrinion, almostreduced to a ruin, is used to host productive agricultural structures and simple dwelling rooms. The accesses have changed and the rooms built into the inner part of the previous porch have columns laid on the sides of the rooms, so as to form benches. The new entrance is open at a higher level with respect to its predecessor, illustrating the rapid raising of the street level. The same area of the crossroads experiences significant and deep change. The aqueducts and the waste-water structures are now partially demolished. For this reason it proved necessary to build a series of cisterns in the area of the shrine/compitum so as to give a water supply for the small community settled around the aqueduct. The arches of the aqueduct are now closed by walls constituting the western limit of the residential area and the area of the temple. In the south, new basins and artisanal structures have been built. They follow rapidly in succession over time, in a series of sub phases, and it is not always possible to understand their functions. In the north-east corner of the crossroads a small chapel with a paved area functioning as a small pronaos has been built. Together with the chapel, located in the south of Street 1, it continued to sacralize that meeting place between the two important roads. By this point, the dissolution of the city has been completed. The community survives amid the ruins of the most ancient buildings and makes use of the remains to build new and simpler structures. Inscriptions, statues, decorative elements are increasingly used in the walls as building material, or are abandoned as they fell, like the statue of the so-called Young Hadrian, embedded in the foundations of the cisterns built near the crossroad, or the statues of a togatus or a pallium-wearer thrown out in the pavements of the crossroads. The access to the small pronaos of the North chapel too is built of ancient inscribed bases, upside down, while for the pronaos the stones of the roman street, now repositioned to a higher level, are used. On the other hand, little remains after the abandonment following the Arab arrival (phase 9). In the area of the Nymphaeum district and Caput aquae, sporadic layers indicate some continuity. We can see this, in particular, in the area of the Byzantine aqueduct, where the ground levels are at least a metre higher than the eastern area, showing the area over the ruins were frequented. In the western part, instead, the collapsed structure seem to have remained visible and are spread out among the whole crossroads area. The workshops obtained from the area of the skrinion are definitively abandoned. Access to the building is closed with an infill which results in a greater height in respect to street level. Generally, however, we see an overall increase in the natural sedimentation and accumulation layers. Collapses are also found in the area to the east of Temple A; the channel on the north of Street 1 is definitively closed. The history of the block ends with the dismantlings of the modern age (phase 10), in the final decades of the 1800s. In this phase, the big robber trenches are excavated, as they bring about the final plundering of the structure in opera quadrata of Temple A and in them lie the traces of the spoliation worksite recognized in the excavation, the last activity before the archaeological rediscovery began.

Gortina VIII, 1. Gortina, L’isolato del Ninfeo I. La topografia, i monumenti e lo scavo. (Campagne 2003-2008)

L. M. Calio';
2019

Abstract

In Gortyn the excavation of the block of the Nymphaeum permits us not only to get more of a feel for the arrangement, meaning and importance of the area’s urban space, but also to clarify its chronological development and the phases of its monumentalization. As a result, a division into broad periods, themselves divided into phases, can be made, to follow autonomous lines of development and reflect the different social systems that, as time goes by, manage the city’s community and architectural life of the city. As we have seen, the history of the area began in the Hellenistic period with the construction of Temple A, which marks the caesura between the urban area, the archaic sanctuary of Apollo Pythios and the public spaces of the city. From the outset, the temple marked, since the very beginning, the passage of the two axial streets that shaped the monumental undertaking of the following phases and make the crossroads one of the places in the city where it is still possible to read an important construction sequence with a high visibility impact. As suggested, the likely dedication of the temple to the Nymphs could already be a sign of a privileged relationship between the area and the springs, a relationship that cannot be followed more fully before the Imperial Age. This first period has only one phase, which comprises the structures of the cella of the temple, visible only at the level of sub-foundation, some fragments of the preparation of the cella’s pavement, and some paving slabs. Standing walls and the original structures of the pronaos are missing, indicating a later rebuilding. A lead pipe (US 3431) datable to this period, witnesses attention to the water supply as early as the Hellenistic period, putting the foundation of the temple at the beginning of a new urban phase of the area. On the other hand, even in the agora, the presence of sewage pipes datable to the beginning of the third century seems to attest a quite complex water management, as it relates to the river Mitropolianos and shows the necessity of an adduction and discharge system in preparation for the urbanization of these districts. The second period includes phases 2-5 and a time frame spanning the whole Imperial Age until about AD 360. The architectural history of the area in this period, although with some breaks and afterthoughts, seems to retain the need for monumentality. A relationship with the water system in the neighbourhood remains constant and finds a strong presence in the construction of buildings that, through euergetism, underlines the importance of waterworks. In the second phase the temple is renovated, mostly in the pronaos area. The layers of emplecton (US 3249, 3367, 3375, 3395) and the floor level (US 3252, 3331) of the pronaos and those on which the temple steps were laid before being robbed (US 3233, 3247, 3248, 3256, 3261) produce ceramics of the Augustan Age. These layers and related structures clearly show a total rebuilding of the shrine. New buildings, whose function and type are not always identifiable, overlook the plateia to the South of the temple. In the East, a structure whose threshold has been found in situ is built. It has been grooved in a way so as to house the sliding lower leaf of a folding door. The original dimensions of the building are not known, because its eastern part was destroyed by the construction of the later Nymphaeum. It was originally divided into two spaces. At the moment, it is not possible to determine its function, but position and form make it feasible to hypothesize a public character. On the temple’s eastern side, there are more faint signs, but some blocks of walls under the later Caput aquae and various terracotta pipes demonstrate the attempt at a more coherent organization of the water adduction system, maybe in relation to the so-called Praetorium on the opposite side of Street 1. The next phase (phase 3) sees no substantial changes in the block, with the exception of a general renovation of the crossroads. In subphase 3a, it is more clearly defined with the construction of a small shrine (Temple C, a probable compitum) immediately in the East of Street 1, around the beginning of second century A.D. This building, now replaced by later structures, had a pronaos and cella and might have had architectural decoration similar to that of the temple, albeit on a smaller scale. The chronologic definition of the subphase 3a is exclusively based on the analysis of walls (US 3336, 3337, 3338, 3340, 3341, 3369, 3373), which seem to anticipate the typologies of Antonine age, but with some difference in the execution. In the area of the crossroads, some water pipes can be attributed to this subphase. The construction of the paved street should be dated to the Antonineage (phase 3b), , on the basis of an inscription and the materials found in the floor preparation (US 3304). At the same time, Street 1 experiences its first narrowing, due to the construction of an unidentified monument, whose remains are visible immediately to the West of the shrine. Phase 4a, datable to the second half of the second century A.D., corresponds to few structural interventions in the eastern area of the temple. The building work seems to concentrate above all on the crossroads sector. The construction of the Caput aquae in its visible form can be assigned to this period, and constitutes an important witness of the reorganization of the hydraulic structures in the neighbourhood. The new building is located on an older structure (perhaps with the same function), and is duplicated on the other side of the street. Its western front, built originally between the Trajanic and Antonine periods, has been externally renovated, probably in connection with a Severan restoration. The arrangment of the front of the Caput, perhaps with a small fountain, is not certain, but the structure had to be monumental, due to the construction of a second water tower still visible to the west of Street 2, aligned with the eastern Caput and leaning on the shrine of the aforementioned crossroads. The whole system was surely connected in the higher part by an arch carrying the conduit between the two water towers. It attests a monumentalization of the system of water distribution in this neighbourhood, perhaps related to a more general urban programme. In the vicinity of the temple, the Augustan building in the eastern sector was dismantled, perhaps in relation to the subsequent completion of some structures. The shape of these structures is not yet definable because the scant remains were obliterated by the later cistern system that serves the late antique Nymphaeum. A series of water-pipes and walls belonging to this phase could be related to the building of a prior water structure, completely hidden by the later Nymphaeum. The first half of the fourth century (phase 5) is a time of important changes. The whole area adjacent to Street 1 shows a number of signs of damage to the structures. Temple A had probably already been abandoned, but the most important building-related development is certainly the completion of the huge monumental Nymphaeum on Street 1, consisting of a series of cisterns that replaced the former structures. This new arrangment completely changed the northern facade of Street 1. Street 2 is also affected by a monumentalization with eye-catching impact. Despite the complexity of the area’s stratigraphy, it was possible to recognize three pilaster foundations which use could be to support an arch of trapezoidal plan. It probably marked the insertion of Street 2 into the grand plateia (Street 1). Such building was, perhaps, connected to a series of changes traceable in the hydraulic architecture of the crossroads, such as the raising of the eastern Caput aquae and the building of new channels that had to be linked to the central sewer. The changes of the district in this phase mostly reflect a profound cultural change in the conception of the city, with a greater attention to the development of buildings linked to the water supply system and a progressive reduction of the public apparatus connected to polytheistic cult. During the following phase (phase 6), the second half of the fourth century AD, this transformation process involving the city continues, particularly regarding public and administrative structures: the building of the Praetorium in the sixties of the century by Fortunatianus and the subsequent reorganization of its façade with columns inscribed for Oecumenius Dositheus Asclepiodotus, consularis of the province in 382, constitute its principal attestations. This intervention deeply impacts the Nymphaeum block, particularly Temple A, which in this period seems to have been transformed into a skrinion, an administrative building whose function is tightly linked to the basilica of the Praetorium. The traceable changes in the neighbourhood reflect a more general tendency changing the face of the whole city through the progressive and systematic deletion of pagan buildings and their replacement with architecture suitable for the new urban development. The arrangement of the temple area is achieved with a minimal waste of resources. The load-bearing structures of the old building have been maintained and now host the central hall and the western wing of the skrinion, the latter specifically divided into three spaces. The eastern wing, divided into three parts, takes up the space formerly occupied by the cisterns of the Nymphaeum. In the south of the new building a portico invades the sidewalk of the street and constitutes its monumental façade. In front of the portico, near the columns, inscribed bases with honorary inscriptions, one addressed to Clodius Felix Saturninus, support statues of the élite of Gortyn. They bear witness to the purpose of the building. The new arrangement affects the entire organization of the block, most noticeably in the hydraulic structures related to the Nymphaeum. In this phase, the area to the west of the temple does not seem to be affected by further changes after the construction of the pilastered arch in the crossroads area. The small shrine/compitum (Temple C) dedicated to the imperial cult, probably still exists, though not with its original function, and continues to distinguish the prospect. The Byzantine age, between 500 and the end of the seventh century retains what had been constructed during the fourth century A.D. (phase 7). In this period, the administrative buildings of the Praetorium and of the skrinion survive as functional and official structures of the city. In the initial part of phase 7, a need to renovate some urban infrastructure is discernible and, once again, this involves the waterworks. Various inscriptions record works on the aqueduct and in relation to water management. In particular, the one placed on the parapet of the Nymphaeum after its transformation into a cistern memorialises one Georgius, who between the last quarter of the fifth and the beginning of the sixth century contributed to the renovation of the city that “previously suffered thirst”. The text could point to one of the interventions connected to the most significant building of these later phases: the new urban aqueduct. Mostly completed on the plan of the former one, it is a monumental structure built ex novo, that represents the final result of a collective effort directed above all at the local level. The economic and technical commitment, which limited to the main pipeline, but comprehending all the water support and collection structures on its route, witnesses the considerable vitality of the city in the second half of the fifth and the beginning of the sixth centuries. In the area of the crossroads, the building of pillars of the new aqueduct, completed reusing the remains of the shrine/compitum (Temple C), demonstrates that the latter should have been still visible up to this point. Finally, during the seventh century, the entrance of the Praetorium, formerly facing the Pythion, now opened towards the skrinion, illustrating the new centrality of Street 1 and the tight relation between the two blocks containing the Praetorium and the Nymphaeum. This constructional intervention that seems datable the time of the emperor Heraclius is therefore concentrated exclusively on the great judicial aula, which was paved again and appointed in the form revealed by the excavation. It is only from the last part of the period, from about AD 650 on, that it is possible to see the beginning of a process of dilapidation of the public buildings, evident in the lack of maintenance of water installations among other things. The central sewage collector of Street 1 is no longer used and of necessity additional channels that run on the sides of the streets are created. In any case, this demonstrates the fact that Gortyn has still the administrative capacity to manage public spaces, such as streets and sewers, even if with more and more logistic strain. In a slightly later phase, perhaps starting from AD 670, the sewer of Street 2 in the South of the crossroads is closed, and the original pavement of the same paved street progressively dismantled. To the North of the pilastered arch, a layer of mortar with ceramic and stone inclusions constitutes a new coarse roadbed. This, however, didn’t result in the raising of the street level, but rather constitutes only a reordering of the former paved floor, tidied up with less expensive means. Probably in this same period, there were a series of structural interventions in the skrinion, which, however, didn’t alter its administrative function. The internal pavement levels of the building show a progressive raising, while the portico, dismantled, probably due to a collapse, is replaced by a continuous wall with a frontal opening and during the later phase the space obtained is partitioned by transverse walls. The end of the seventh century and the eighth century constitute a moment of crisis of urban and administrative structures, with a rapid increase in the dilapidation process already begun in the former phase (phase 8). A serious destructive event, formerly dated to the years around 670 but now instead locatable in the first half of the eighth century marks a clear break, characterised by scattered collapses and the abandonment of the imperial streets. With the eighth century, then, there is no more sign of public interventions and the residential area is reduced to the spaces near the streets, with small private houses and structures for the processing of agricultural products. The streets close to the crossroads do have later pavement levels, which progressively raise the ground level, of the end of the eighth century and the Arab conquest. The Nymphaeum block undergoes some important transformations that reflect social and administrative changes in the city. The excavation highlighted layers of abandonment and collapses of the public monumental structures and a later partial reuse of the same areas. The area of the skrinion, almostreduced to a ruin, is used to host productive agricultural structures and simple dwelling rooms. The accesses have changed and the rooms built into the inner part of the previous porch have columns laid on the sides of the rooms, so as to form benches. The new entrance is open at a higher level with respect to its predecessor, illustrating the rapid raising of the street level. The same area of the crossroads experiences significant and deep change. The aqueducts and the waste-water structures are now partially demolished. For this reason it proved necessary to build a series of cisterns in the area of the shrine/compitum so as to give a water supply for the small community settled around the aqueduct. The arches of the aqueduct are now closed by walls constituting the western limit of the residential area and the area of the temple. In the south, new basins and artisanal structures have been built. They follow rapidly in succession over time, in a series of sub phases, and it is not always possible to understand their functions. In the north-east corner of the crossroads a small chapel with a paved area functioning as a small pronaos has been built. Together with the chapel, located in the south of Street 1, it continued to sacralize that meeting place between the two important roads. By this point, the dissolution of the city has been completed. The community survives amid the ruins of the most ancient buildings and makes use of the remains to build new and simpler structures. Inscriptions, statues, decorative elements are increasingly used in the walls as building material, or are abandoned as they fell, like the statue of the so-called Young Hadrian, embedded in the foundations of the cisterns built near the crossroad, or the statues of a togatus or a pallium-wearer thrown out in the pavements of the crossroads. The access to the small pronaos of the North chapel too is built of ancient inscribed bases, upside down, while for the pronaos the stones of the roman street, now repositioned to a higher level, are used. On the other hand, little remains after the abandonment following the Arab arrival (phase 9). In the area of the Nymphaeum district and Caput aquae, sporadic layers indicate some continuity. We can see this, in particular, in the area of the Byzantine aqueduct, where the ground levels are at least a metre higher than the eastern area, showing the area over the ruins were frequented. In the western part, instead, the collapsed structure seem to have remained visible and are spread out among the whole crossroads area. The workshops obtained from the area of the skrinion are definitively abandoned. Access to the building is closed with an infill which results in a greater height in respect to street level. Generally, however, we see an overall increase in the natural sedimentation and accumulation layers. Collapses are also found in the area to the east of Temple A; the channel on the north of Street 1 is definitively closed. The history of the block ends with the dismantlings of the modern age (phase 10), in the final decades of the 1800s. In this phase, the big robber trenches are excavated, as they bring about the final plundering of the structure in opera quadrata of Temple A and in them lie the traces of the spoliation worksite recognized in the excavation, the last activity before the archaeological rediscovery began.
9789609559164
Gortys, Crete, Roman Crete, Ninfe
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