Το ανασκαφικό έργο στο Γαλεριανό ΣυγκρότημαPart of : Το Αρχαιολογικό Έργο στη Μακεδονία και στη Θράκη ; Vol.10, No.Β, 1996, pages 533-544
Excavation work on the palace of Galerius
The archaeological site of Navarinou Square (fig. 1), which has been identified as the SE section of the palace complex erected by the tetrarch Galerius early in the fourth century AD, has recently been in the forefront of attention once more as a result of the inclusion of the project for its accentuation in the Regional Investment Programmes.Excavations of a rather spasmodic nature around the Octagon in 1994 re vealed Hellenistic building phases beneath the palace, while the more sys tematic excavation of 1995 and 1996 yielded a large quantity of information about the palace itself and about the phases in the life of the city that preceded its construction. After the detachment, for restoration, of the mosaic floors of three colonnades surrounding the central peristyle atrium, the digging of tren ches brought the following to light: a) Hellenistic rubble walls in the deeper strata, Hellenistic pottery and coins; b) an extensive Late Hellenistic complex of workshops focusing on a metal-working shop (with evidence also of a pot ter’s workshop and a dye-shop), with finds from between the first century BC and the first century AD; subsidence of the floor in the north colonnade and the atrium show that this building had been damaged by earthquake and abandoned, and c) a Roman phase beneath the palace complex, in excellent condition, including rooms with wall-paintings and tessellated marble floors whose ornamentation made use of marine motifs (beneath the south and west colonnades). Directly beneath the Octagon, the excavations revealed successive floors of the Hellenistic period, in the form of fragments of brick and plaster used in the Roman period but prior to the construction of the palace. This phase was destroyed by fire, since it is covered by an extensive destruction stratum with marked traces of burning. The successive building phases disco vered beneath the palace demolish the theory that Galerius levelled a pre viously unoccupied area in order to construct his palace.As for the palace itself, excavation of the elliptical ante-chamber to the Octagon revealed that the Octagon was organically connected to, and dates from the same period as, the rest of the palace. This formal hall, organised around its centre, communicated via a large peristyle to the south —now lost for ever beneath the modern city— with the imperial harbour. In this way, the palace had its own access from the sea. In addition, it was discovered that the floors of the palace had been repaired in the first half of the fifth century, probably after an earthquake.