The dramatic destruction of Norba in 81 B.C., during the war between Marius and Sulla, and the uninhabited nature of the plateau on which it stood, make this town an excellent site for the observation of urban planning and architecture in a Roman centre as it must have been at the beginning of the 1st century B.C., prior to the radical changes that subsequently affected the life of many towns.
The renewal of topographical and archaeological investigations on the site, almost one hundred years after the excavations by Raniero Mengarelli and Luigi Savignoni, brought to light some of the roads and a number of buildings along the town’s main road and in its immediate vicinity. The cleaning back of the vegetation rendered the bath complex visible.
The investigated structures comprised the remains of two domus immediately below the Small Acropolis, the remains of a production complex along the main road crossing the town, a stretch of the road branching off from the main road below the Small Acropolis and a number of private structures facing onto the road. The roads were all paved with limestone basoli and were flanked by sidewalks. The latter preserved various types of paving (limestone slabs, basoli, opus signinum ) in different sectors. The two domus were rectangular in plan, with a façade of 60 Roman feet facing onto the road. They fit into the architectural schemes that were particularly widespread in the 2nd century B.C.: atrium with impluvium around which the cubicula were arranged, alae on the far sides of the atrium, reception rooms to the back. The floors were beaten tufa, limestone or opus signinum, both plain and decorated.
The disposition of the domus within the context of the Archaeological park (agreed with the Archaeological Superintendency) envisages the use of different coloured gravels to highlight the plan and different uses of each room and the insertion of wooden partitions where no walls are preserved. A building complex was uncovered along the road which from the main road turned towards Porta Maggiore. This was characterised by two adjoining entrances, originally part of a single property, given the internal communication via a large door in the atrium. The latter was accessed from the door furthest downhill. The structures were separated when the inner door was blocked, probably in connection with a change to a productive function, as attested by the creation of surfaces in basoli and a tank. On the other side of the road investigation began of a complex with numerous rooms, arranged around a large courtyard, characterised by the substantial use of opus signinum to waterproof the floors and walls and by the presence of cisterns, tanks, basins and drainage channels: these features suggest the building was used for production activities.
- Stefania Quilici Gigli - Seconda Università di Napoli
- Paola Carfora - Seconda Università di Napoli
- Giuseppina Renda - Seconda Università di Napoli
- Stefania Ferrante - Seconda Università di Napoli
- Seconda Università di Napoli
- Comune di Norma
- Ministero dell’Università e della Ricerca Scientifica (PRIN)
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