The Byzantine baths of Taposiris Magna – 2016 campaign
Original French/English version posted on the Taposiris Magna / Plinthine blog, « Thermes byzantins de Taposiris : découvertes de la campagne 2016 »
By Joachim LE BOMIN (archaeologist, Paris 1 University), Julie MARCHAND, (ceramologist, Poitiers University) & Matthieu VANPEENE (architect), under the direction of M.-Fr. BOUSSAC (Paris Ouest-Nanterre University)
The Byzantine baths of the lower town of Taposiris (late 5th-mid 7th) have the same characteristics as a series of contemporary baths in Mareotis: large courtyard serving two retrograde itineraries for instance (see for typology Fournet, Redon forthcoming). After a fruitful campaign in 2015 (short report in French), the 2016 works focused on technical parts: high flame furnace and boiler serving a well preserved series of hypocausts.
A new heated room (8) has been entirely excavated, and a second one (12) partially so. Three new marble floor bathtubs have been identified, bringing up their number to 5 for the moment.
Many transformations were observed, the last one was dated c. the middle of 7th century AD by the pottery study. Furthermore, painted decorative elements (painted stuccoes with figurative motifs, including a female head) and numerous fragments of circular glass windows (oculi) were collected. The pottery study revealed the presence of many fragments of pots used for a saqiya that we plan to find in 2017.
- J. Le Bomin, « La céramique d’un dépotoir de la fin du VIe et du début du VIIe de n.è. sur les thermes byzantins (Secteur 13) de Taposiris Magna (Maréotide) », BCE 2016 (forthcoming).
- Th. Fournet, B. Redon, « The Roman and Byzantine thermae in Mareotis area », dans B. Redon (éd.), Current Research on Baths in Egypt: New Archaeological Discoveries, IFAO press, Cairo (forthcoming).
- Carnets de la mission française de Taposiris Magna et Plinthine (Maréotide, Égypte)
- Baths in Egypt: Workshop in Cairo (Oct. 26, 2010)
- Les thermes byzantins de Taposiris Magna : campagne 2015
- Découverte d’un bain romano-byzantin à Taposiris Magna (2009)