2002 Preliminary Report

Between 15 May and 20 September 2002 the Ohio State University Excavations at Isthmia carried out a program of study and conservation, with a primary focus on the Roman Bath, but with significant concerns elsewhere in the site.

Study of architecture and finds from the Roman Bath remained the primary focus of activity. Professor Fikret Yegül (University of California, Santa Barbara) completed the first draft of his study of the architecture of the Bath, and Professor Birgitta L. Wohl (California State University, Northridge) continued her study of the lamps from the Bath. Daniel Curtis (Shakopee, Minnesota) continued conservation of the photographic archive of the excavations and photography of items selected for publication. Peter Cheoros continued his work of transferring the excavation notebooks to digital format, for reasons of preservation and use by scholars and students off-site.

Other work at the site focused on conservation and the preparation of materials and plans for site presentation. A series of three signs for explanation of the Roman Bath to tourists, complete with pictures, plans, and text in Greek and English, was prepared in cooperation with the 6th EPKA. Panayiotis Elias of Kyras Vrysi continued conservation on the great monochrome mosaic in Room VI of the Roman Bath. He was able to close the large cut along the northern side of the mosaic and to complete much of the remaining work needed to close the surface of the mosaic and to protect it from further deterioration. He also closed several areas of the surface of the mosaic in Room VII, where holes had developed as a result of weathering. A problem has developed in that we have run out of ancient tessarae from the floor of the building; tests were made using modern-cut stones, but these were not found to be satisfactory for the work in progress. Continued investigation of this problem will take place in 2003. Work was also carried out in terms of basic maintenance of the Bath and the East Field, clearing weeds, and patching sections of wall that are in danger of collapse.

Timothy E. Gregory
30 October 2002