Janiculum Mills Excavations

Pictures of the 1999 season in progress


 27/06/99 - 05/07/99

Removal of modern car-park surface and make-up layers, using precision archaeological tools - a power drill to break up the indurated surface, a chainsaw to take down part of the hedge fronting the street, and of course trowels to clean up last year's trench.
Aerial view of the site - 05/07/99.

Click for larger image

Cleaning off the modern overburden to expose the mill structure - 05/07/99.


And the same again, from a different angle - 05/07/99.


"You want me to dig what ?" - 05/07/99.
"I spent 10 years in grad school for this?" - 05/07/99, circa 35º C.
"If I let them use my camera, they'll let me pretend I'm an archaeologist too" - 05/07/99.



Further cleaning of the deposits over the southern side of the interior of the mill, just inside the fence, and emptying of the fill of a modern water-pipe trench cutting across part of the site. A bulldozer came to remove our spoil heap, which had already colonised much of the car park, and we began fencing off an area around the driveway to the old car park entrance prior to commencing excavation there. In the afternoon we ripped up the San Pietrini cobblestones of the driveway - an exhausting task.
Erecting barriers around the old entrance to the car park, preparatory to extending the excavation here - 06/07/99. 
Removing the spoil heap - three lorry loads already! - 06/07/99. 
... while more cleaning goes on ... 06/07/99. 
 ... and on ... - 06/07/99.



With the cobblestones removed, we began taking off the make-up levels for the driveway. Almost immediately the tops of what seems to be a late wall flanking the south side aqueduct channel and a part of the concrete core of what may be internal walls of the mill started to become visible, a mere 20-30 cm below the street surface. Meanwhile, clearance of the modern water pipe trench exposed the corner of the concrete floor of the north-west room inside the mill.


Further work in the driveway has now exposed the top of the wall flanking the other (north) side of the aqueduct channel, and much collapsed brick and tile in the fill of the aqueduct. The modern water pipe trench is now nearly emptied of its fill, and the foundation trench cut for the mill structure is visible in its floor.

Rain stopped play around mid afternoon.
Cleaning in the driveway; the tops of blocks belonging to a secondary phase flanking the aqueduct are starting to appear, running diagonally across the picture - 08/07/99.
Cleaning to expose the tile and brick collapse overlying the filled-in aqueduct channel. - 08/07/99.



The modern water-pipe trench was completely emptied of its modern fill and photographed. Removal of modern deposits in the driveway continued, defining more clearly the tile deposits over the aqueduct channel. With the aid of two extra volunteers, we began clearing modern deposits over the internal rooms of the mill, exposing a silty accumulation within the mill structure.
Interior NW corner of the mill structure, with a patch of the floor visible at centre, exposed in the trench for a modern water-pipe. (Modern concrete in section to right). - 09/07/99.
Tile and brick collapse overlying the filled-in aqueduct channel. - 09/07/99.


Special thanks to Paul Muller for the use of his digital camera, without which this page would not have been possible.

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Andrew Wilson

The American Academy in Rome

Dr Andrew Wilson

University Lecturer in Roman Archaeology
Institute of Archaeology
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Last updated: 12/03/2001
By: Andrew Wilson ( andrew.wilson@archaeology.ox.ac.uk )