Area 3 is located one insula (city block) to the north of the South Gate, on the eastern side of the Via Amerina. The area was chosen primarily due to its position at an intersection of the principal north-south axis of movement within the city, with the aim of confirming the presence of major and secondary roads here, as well as revealing an area of potential everyday commercial and domestic activity. The GPR and magnetometry surveys also indicated several regular linear features to the immediate east of the hypothesized road junction. Within a 15 x 15 meter trench, excavation exposed a secondary east-west road paved in two different types of basalt (volcanic rock) and several structures.

dig crew actively working in Area 3

Excavation of Area 3

Within the trench, the team exposed an east-west road, two rooms, and a north-south road.

East-West Road

The road was paved in two different types of basalt, and had well-worn, deep ruts. At the eastern end of the road, four large architectural blocks of peperino and two blocks of tuff had been placed to block the road.

Room 1

A room was uncovered with an opus spicatum floor, small terracotta blocks in a herringbone pattern. Ceramics found here appear to date to the 4th to 5th centuries CE.

Room 2

A second room contained a possible cistern or well and at least one small hearth, evidenced by small finds that showed rubefaction, an indication of intense heat. To the west of these rooms was an open area with several features built in opus caementicium (Roman concrete) that cut into the natural clay soil. The area defines a stretch of 5 meters in width, with the wall to the east and a tiled drain to the west. The drain was excavated for a length of 12.77 meters and was constructed using 18 tiles.

North-South Road

At the western limit of the trench a section of the paved Via Amerina, also with a well-preserved curb and pedestrian pavement, was exposed in order to anchor the excavation within the results of the prior surveys.