While the Tall el-Hammam excavation team have been on the ground for three weeks now I will leave Sunday for this years excavation. The Roman area has been idle since last season and we look forward with anticipation to the prospects of finding something "cool" again this year. Last season we discovered a small bath complex (balnearium) that had several layers of use from the Roman period to the Byzantine. This is part of a large 35 m X 40 m building called a bath house (thermae) supplied with hot water from the numerous hot springs on the site that Livias was famous for. While the building is massive it is yet undetermined if this was a thermae or simply a private bath house for public/private use called a balnea or balinea. Certainly the small bath complex we uncovered last season was not for public use as it would only fit two or three people at most. This season we hope to work in an adjacent room and perhaps we will find the change or undressing room (apodyterium).
Every year we discover something very exciting and this season we trust will be no different. I will keep you posted as we excavate the Roman/Byzantine city of Livias.
For more information see our article in Levant Journal. David E. Graves and Scott Stripling. “Re-Examination of the Location for the Ancient City of Livias.” Levant: The Journal of the Council for British Research in the Levant 43.2 (2011): 178-200.
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