Among Richard Sadler’s latest additions to the Finds page on the Berlin-Kent Ostia Excavations Blog (18 September 2008), we find a fragment of a slate tablet, preserving 6 or more lines of incised Greek, to judge from the photo (I cannot make out enough of the text to offer a transcription here). Sadler tentatively interprets this object, found in fill, as evidence that the forum housed a school in Roman times.
This is the second item of epigraphic interest presented online by the team (see our discussion of the first fragment). Luke Lavan’s post yesterday on the main blog gives us hope that we’ll soon see more:
The cleaning of the facade has revealed a number of new layers, including a destruction layer which apparently overlies the earliest Trajanic phase of the floor and may give a TPQ date for the building of the facade in its final form. A well-cut inscription came out this layer and is being identified. Elsewhere on site inscriptions are becoming more comon as parts of the paving are being removed. Such thin inscribed pieces were popularly reused as veneers and paving slabs, and many more likely to have been used, with their inscribed faces down , as Late Roman architects sought to create a paving surface reusing the epigraphic monuments of a previous and perhaps forgotten generation. The re-used material or ’spolia’ is likely to become a key focus of the project. Today Richard Sadler and Diana Everett began to survey the spolia around the forum with some interesting results. We hope to use infomation from the nature of the reuse of stonework to try to phase and date different walls, which often contain similar pieces, suggesting that they were laid down at a similar moment in time.