Ανασκαφές βόρεια της παλαιοχριστιανικής οικίας με το τρικλίνιο στην οδό Σοφοκλέους 18-20Part of : Το Αρχαιολογικό Έργο στη Μακεδονία και στη Θράκη ; Vol.14, No.1, 2000, pages 259-272
Excavations to the north of the early christian house with the triclinium at 18-20, Sofokleous street
The complete excavation of the ground plan of the house with the triclinium shows that it was a large town-house properly incorporated into the local Hip- podamean grid. It takes up half the width of the ancient insula, but its length has not yet been determined. The section investigated so far has an area of as much as 450 m2, and the total area of the building may have been between 750 m2 and 1,000 m2. It was built on an embankment, the sloping ground of which was levelled by hewing out the rock in the N part and banking up the S part. It was planned around a central peristylar atrium whose stoas gave access to the surrounding rooms, while also providing light and ventilation. The monumental aspect of the residence is emphasised by the presence of 2 reception rooms — the triclinium, which was used mainly for banquets, and the family chamber, which predated the triclinium and was the reception room already in the 4th century, when there was a functioning bathroom on the site of the later apse.The monumental aspect of the residence is also emphasised by the notional axis around which its main nucleus revolves, bringing the visitor into direct visual contact with the family chamber and the adjacent room with the painted door behind it.The opulent, elaborate decor is attested by the colourful mosaic floor, which has already been mentioned, as also by numerous colourful fragments of wall paintings which we have collected, with a variety of decorative motifs, including human figures.With regard to the house to the N, things are less clear. If we accept that it is 25 m wide, like the one S of it, then its surface area is 500 m2 and its dimensions are 25x20 m. It was constructed in the same way, but on an embankment 2 m higher. Unfortunately, we cannot confirm the existence of a central atrium in the S part, owing to the extensive damage inflicted by the later buildings. The main entrance to the house must be sought on the W side on Sofokleous St., while the side entrance on the N side suggests that there was a small decumanus there, coinciding with the narrow Alikamassou St., rather than an open space to the N of the house.Lastly, the apsidal building to the W, which may have been a refectory, and the subterranean barrel-vaulted cistern are presumably monastery facilities of the Byzantine period, which were established after the devastating earthquakes on the site of the ruined Early Christian houses, taking up the entire area of the ancient insula.
Παλαιοχριστιανική εποχή, Θεσσαλονίκη
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