The 2014 excavations took place on the central plateau of the ancient city, to the north-east of the previously investigated residential sector of the II traversa (_domus_ IV, V and VI). Delimited to the east by the I _traversa _ of the main city road leading from the Acropolis Minor, the excavated sector faced onto the road entering the city from the Porta Maggiore.
The decision to intervene in this part of the archaeological park was dictated by the need to safeguard the ancient remains exposed by heavy rainfall during the winter. At the same time, the topographical location offered the possibility of extending the visitors’ route at its starting point.
Overall, the investigated area covered 16 × 12 m and sloped steeply to the east. The excavation partially uncovered a domus with the standard plan: vestibulum, fauces, and atrium with an impluvium faced with tufa slabs, around which a series of rooms were arranged (identified but not excavated).
The domus was entered via a low step leading into the vestibulum directly from the road that led from Porta Maggiore to the plateau.
The vestibulum (room A), 3.50 × 1.50 m, was delimited by walls built with a footing of rough-hewn irregular limestone blocks (45 cm thick), bonded with earth with a clay matrix and paved in a mortar with crushed tile.
The vestibulum led into the fauces across a limestone threshold. The threshold block, damaged in several places, measured 1.83 × 0.38 m and was delimited by two quadrangular blocks.
The fauces (room B), rectangular in plan, was paved in opus caementicium that continued in the atrium.
The impluvium, slightly off-centre with respect to the vestibulum, was quadrangular in plan and faced with six overlapping tufa slabs. It had what was probably a well in the north-western corner that did not have a facing slab (not excavated). It measured 2.80 × 3.60 m and was characterised by mouldings created in order to direct the water into the drainage hole (diam. 15 cm) situated on the edge of the north side. All sides were damaged, in particular the southern part and all surfaces showed modern plough damage and some traces of burning.
This winter’s heavy rain also uncovered a number of probable burials on the summit of the Acropolis Minor where at the beginning of the 20th century excavations brought to light an early medieval tomb. Therefore, it was thought advisable to undertake a surface cleaning of the entire sector in order to gain a better picture of the situation. The probable burials were situated in the area west of the long west side of the small temple, dug between the basoli paving the road leading to the Acropolis Minor from the north-west. At least three graves were identified, denominated from north to south, tomb 1, tomb 2, and tomb 3. The latter, on a higher level than the others, was excavated in order to avoid its exposure by the elements.
The skeleton, about 1.55 m in length, lay in a supine position. The right arm was folded across the abdomen, while the left arm lay along the side of the body. An iron nail was placed beside it. The skeleton was almost complete, only the extremities of the upper limbs were missing. The cranium lay to the west, resting on the make up for the basoli that formed the border of the grave cut, at about 29 cm below the road surface. The cranium was tilted slightly forward to rest on the sternum. At the east end, in correspondence with the piece of limestone used as a grave marker, the extremities of the lower limbs lay at a depth of 22 cm.
- Stefania Gigli Quilici – Seconda Università degli Studi di Napoli
- Rosa Vitale - Seconda Università di Napoli
- Irene Ullucci
- Margherita Di Niola - Seconda Università degli studi di Napoli
- Paola Carfora - Seconda Università di Napoli
- Stefania Ferrante - Seconda Università di Napoli
- Seconda Università degli Studi di Napoli
- Comune di Norma
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