Axel Gering and Luke Lavan have just opened up access to the Finds section of their Berlin-Kent Ostia Excavations blog, where they are providing a chronicle of their team’s work-in-progress on “a square porticoed plaza on the main street in front of the main baths” at Ostia, known as the “Foro dell Statua Eroica” (here’s a more-or-less correctly placed, third-party photo with map from Panoramio of a statue on the perimeter; KML of same for Google Earth).
Among the small finds recovered during initial devegetation and cleaning of the excavation site, the team recovered an inscribed marble fragment broken on all sides (scroll down the Finds page to the heading “inscription”). From their photo, I think I see the remains of four lines of text, as follows:
– – – – ]++[ – –
– – ]+IGEN[ – –
– – ]OCVLVS?[ – –
– – – – ]+[ – –
The N in line 2 and the O and S in line 3 are fragmentary by virtue of damage to the stone. Assuming a list of names, we might venture — Pri]m?igen[ius — for line 2 and — Pr]oculus?[ — for line 3.
In the description accompanying the photo, dated 8 September 2008, Richard Sadler writes:
Opinions vary concerning its original function, some think it may have been from a grave that fell out of use from the city’s necropolis, others think it may have formed part of some sort of secular decree, list of permissions or other public notice. Whatever the exact function may have been, it is still an impressive and beautiful find, dating to the 2nd century A.D.