2004 Preliminary Report

Members of the Ohio State University Excavations at Isthmia worked at Isthmia from 1 June to 3 July and from 6 to 26 September 2004.  Major work was divided into three basic categories:

  1. Continued study of the Roman Baths, with the goal of full publication of the building.  Karen Soteriou worked for much of the summer in the preparation of drawings for the illustration of objects from the Baths.  Birgitta Wohl and Timothy Gregory continued work on lamps and the stratigraphic history of the building, respectively.

    Cleaning Mosaic
    Figure 1. Cleaning the mosaic in Room VI, May 2004
  2. Panayiotis Elias completed work on the conservation of the monochrome mosaic in Room VI of the Roman Baths.

    Mosaic Conservation
    Figure 2.  Mosaic conservation

    Figure 3. Mosiac after end of conservation
    Figure 3. View of mosaic after end of conservation
  3. During September of 2004 we continued cleaning the edge of the southern boundary of the excavated area, in order to stabilize the earth and even out this line.  Beginning from where this cleaning stopped in 2003 (shown as TR03-2 on plan) cleaning of the scarp was continued as TR04-1 to TR04-4, for a distance of 26.5 m.  This operation cleaned out old trenches that had been excavated in 1976 and 1978 and evened the southern edge of the excavated area, which has now been stabilized by construction of an unobtrusive dry-stone wall.  The reservoir of Roman date, whose northwest corner was found in 2003, was completely cleared.  This is a long, narrow structure (ca. 5.5 x 0.80 m.), that is ca. 0.80-0.90 m. deep.  It was constructed on the orientation of the Greek Bath and its ends were apparently aligned with the southeast corner and the main entrance to that building.  Understanding of the entrance to the Greek Bath was significantly increased by the discovery of a third base, suggesting that the entrance opened along the south side of the building through a series of apparently open portals.   A wall made of local dry stones was built along the sides of the excavated area.  Work in 2005 will complete clearance of this south side of the Roman Baths and the stabilization of this important part of the site.

    Figure 4. Begining of cleaning operations
    Figure 4.  Beginning of cleaning operations, 2004

    Figure.5  Reservoir
    Figure 5. Reservoir south of the Bath

    Doorways into the Baths of the Classical period
    Figure 6.  Doorways into the Baths of the Classical period

    Mosaic in Room
    Figure 7.  Mosaic in Room VI, from west

    In addition to this fieldwork, significant progress was made in the improvement and enlargement of the storage facilities of the project (Figures 13-17).  A new metal roof was constructed over the storeroom to the east of the Excavation House and construction of a second-floor addition to the Excavation House was nearly completed.  This latter has now reached the stage of stuccoing the walls and the placement of doors and windows.  This will significantly increase storage area for artifacts and provide expanded work and study areas for researchers.

    Construction of new floor on Excavation House
    Figure 8. Construction of new floor on Excavation House

    Figure 9.  Window in new floor of Excavation House
    Figure 9.  Window in new floor of Excavation House

    Figure 10.  Entrance to Excavation House
    Figure 10.  Entrance to Excavation House

    Figure 11.  Interior of roof
    Figure 11.  Interior of roof