Pendici nord-orientali del Palatino: le 'Terme di Elagabalo'. Indagini archeologiche e prime riflessioni
In: Archeologia Classica: 60, 2010
The results are presented of the first two seasons of excavation carried out by the University of Rome-La Sapienza on the northeastern slopes of the Palatine in the complex known in the archaeological literature as the Baths of Helagabalus. The building, consisting of a courtyard, onto three sides of which gives a series of rooms, is closely connected with the Severan substructures on the NE side of the Palatine, which, built in relation to the temple erected on the summit in the area of the Vigna Barberini, drastically modified the previous Hadrianic system of substructures. Also the Severan courtyard building destroyed a Hadrianic monument, which the excavations are bringing to light. It is a complex that probably served for foodstuffs or trade, with a front of c. 70 m. to the north, on the valley-Forum road, and elongated rectangular rooms, seven of which have already been uncovered. An open-air passage that continues the line of the via Nova separates the rooms from substructures of the same period, which extend along the opposite side, to the south. The stratifications below, which have already been exposed in the zones crossed by mediaeval trenches and cunicula, show the natural geological layer and the presence of archaic pits in the west, where the hill is higher, together with ample remains of a block of the Republican period consisting of a domus and a series of tabernae aligned along the front of the valley-Forum road, in the east. The complex was destroyed by the Neronian fire in AD 64, after which the road was given a monumental character.