|The oldest remains beneath
the church of San Lorenzo in Lucina are walls of second century buildings.
These remains have been found in several different spots and it is difficult
to understand the relationship between them.
(The images are clickable)
During the 1985 excavation of
the Soprintendenza archeologica, Maria Iride Pasquali excavated a room,
built in the first half of the second century AD, with a later mosaic floor
(photo), dated to 180-200 AD.
In 1982, Friedrich Rakob and the
German institute excavated a short wall beneath the apse of the church
with a painting dated to the middle of the second century.
Also the foundation
wall excavated in 1998 close to the baptistery should belong to the
pre-insula phase, that is to the second century AD.
Perhaps also a great foundation wall
found in 1982 beneath the sacristy belongs to this period.
It is not easy to understand the
exact ground level in the second century. Only in the mosaic room whe
have a floor, which belongs to a late second century reconstruction. The
excavated part of the short wall beneath the apse is on the same level,
but it carries a detail of a painting which usually is found high above
the ground, and the floor has not been found or excavated. The foundation
wall close to the baptistery belongs to a slightly higher ground level.
This means that the ground was not even and that we are not yet able
to reconstruct the levels of the area before the great insula was built.
We know very little of these second
century buildings. It is risky to say anything about their shape and the
function. All we know is that they were built close to the Ara Pacis.
The known second century levels seem to indicate that the ground was higher
to the west - as it still is, by the way.