2nd stage: masonry
foundation trenchs

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Map: D. Busson and V. Charlanne.
 
The houses

Masonry houses PAGE PAGE
 
  Small below-ground room in a high Roman Empire house with staircase, niches and a vent connected to a courtyard. Photo: J.-L. Godard / CVP
Small below-ground room in a high Roman Empire house with staircase, niches and a vent connected to a courtyard. Photo: J.-L. Godard / CVP.

  Small below-ground room in a high Roman Empire house with staircase, niches and a vent connected to a courtyard. Photo: J.-L. Godard / CVP
Small below-ground room in a high Roman Empire house with staircase, niches and a vent connected to a courtyard. Photo: J.-L. Godard / CVP.

  Floor plan and organisation

Several recent excavations of outlying areas have allowed archaeologists to establish the layout of a 2nd and 3rd century insula. Habitation areas were organised around a common space where various domestic activities-particularly cooking and crafts-took place. Discoveries in these spaces include wheel ruts, traces of meat cutting and millstones.

The facades of the houses around this courtyard generally had covered walkways supported by posts or pillars and bordered by a rudimentary drainage system. The same system was used for the parts of the houses facing the street, where the covered walkway sometimes took the place of the sidewalk.

In the centre of the city, it was a different story: any unbuilt areas disappeared beneath housing construction.

In general, masonry houses were organised differently from their predecessors. Larger houses, the use of building stones and the probably existence of an upper story transformed the floor plan and room distribution. Rooms were more evenly divided and were aligned with one another. Houses were organized in rows of rooms of a set width between 4.5 and 6.5 metres. Small rooms disappeared, and both hearths and domestic ovens are absent from the main rooms. This might indicate on one hand a change in the way that houses were heated, and on the other that domestic activity was assigned to certain rooms of the house.