Ανασκαφές στην οδό Παστέρ και οι πρώτες ενδείξεις για τη μνημειακή διαμόρφωση της οδού Αγ. ΔημητρίουPart of : Το Αρχαιολογικό Έργο στη Μακεδονία και στη Θράκη ; Vol.15, No.1, 2001, pages 309-320
Excavations in Pasteur street and the first indications of the monumental structure of Ayiou Dimitriou street
The excavation of the plot at the junction of Ayiou Dimitriou St. and Pasteur St. enabled us to make a more general review of the excavations in Pasteur St. in order to correlate them with the topography of the wider area and to draw more general conclusions about the area.The plot in question yielded a corner building giving onto the ancient decumanus, which is located under the N side of modem Ayiou Dimitriou St. From this building four rectangular spaces were uncovered, which had presumably been used as shops and which had a 3 m wide portico running along their S and W sides. On the S side, along the decumanus, the foundations of six piers were uncovered measuring approximately lxl m and spaced 2.5 m apart; while along the cardo we unearthed two piers in a line which, if protracted northwards, meets the pier unearthed during the earlier excavation of the plot at 5, Pasteur St., at the junction with Ioakeim Sgourou St. (see Fig. 6).The piers lining the streets in this specific area suggest a certain monumentality.This was certainly an important part of the ancient city, possibly next to the Ancient and Byzantine administrative centre (as indeed it is today, given the presence of the Ministry of Macedonia and Thrace), where large numbers of citizens moved to and fro along the second decumanus (no less important than the Via Regia) between the Letaia Gate and the New Golden Gate. This was one of the city’s main arteries, lined with important public buildings and sanctuaries.That the city’s second major street took the form of a ceremonial way, at least at this point, is by no means unlikely. On the contrary, the construction of porticos along important city streets was not a characteristic exclusive to the Hellenistic cities of the east, but in the Late Roman period too remained a fundamental feature of the Roman cities in the western Empire.The erection of rows of piers along the decumanus beneath modem Ayiou Dimitriou St., probably under the Tetrarchy, was connected with the political, administrative, and economic advancement of Thessaloniki, which was now transformed from a provincial capital into an imperial city, the seat of Galerius Augustus.
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