We had a good day today but the waterproofs came out during a torrential downpour after lunch. We took out some more tarmac in the northern corridor during the rain. The excavations come right up to, and beyond, the steps leading into the bath house and we need to work out how to keep visitors and the mosaics safe. We’re starting to think of this as extreme public archaeology!
Meanwhile, Martin has been recording the mosaics at the southern end of the corridor:
Martin is using a planning frame which is one metre square with strings set at ten centimetre intervals. The frame helps us to plan complex shapes as the strings correspond to squares on graph paper to make a scale drawing. We draw with a very hard pencil onto a transparent waterproof material. We draw for information rather than as a representation of every single stone. The aim is to describe what we see so that we can understand it. When we have finished, the conservators will make a far more accurate plan of the mosaics so that we can monitor their condition. Here is a close-up of Martin’s plan in progress: