Slovenska cesta: Rimski DECUMANUS / Roman Decumanus

 

Decumanus imenujemo vsako ulico, ki je v Emoni povezovala vzhodni in zahodni del mesta. Na svoji poti je prečkala pet pravokotno ležečih ulic (cardo) in tako je s številnimi križišči nastala pravilna mreža, znotraj katere je stalo 47 »stavbnih otokov« (insula). Pod vsakim od sedmih emonskih dekumanov je ležala kloaka – glavni zbirni kanal, ki je odplake iz posameznih insul odvajal proti Ljubljanici.

Del izkopavanj, ki ga bomo v naših predstavitvah imenovali DECUMANUS, predstavlja ograjeno območje med dovozom na parkirišče Šumi in Gregorčičevo ulico. Pozoren opazovalec je gotovo opazil, da je bilo to območje še do nedavnega razdeljeno na dva dela, ki pa sta sedaj združena. Med njima poteka mostiček, ki prebivalcem Slovenske 12 omogoča dostop na dvorišče, mimoidočim pa odličen razgled na oba dela najdišča. Kdorkoli je v obdobju antične Emone vstopil skozi severna mestna vrata in po glavnem kardu nadaljeval proti forumu, je na tem prostoru prečkal drugo križišče na svoji poti.

Tloris Emone z območjem izkopavanj. Z rdečo je označen obravnavan predel.

Ob začetku izkopavanj na tem delu smo se najprej soočili z vsemi sodobnimi in novoveškimi posegi, ki so se kazali v obliki betonskih kinet, jaškov za kanalizacijo, vodovodnih cevi in ostankov kleti hiš, ki že dobro stoletje ne stojijo več tu. Nekateri posegi so ostaline rimskega mesta popolnoma uničili, drugi le poškodovali, del pa je ostal nedotaknjen. Tu smo pod t.i. »temno plastjo« (to je plast, ki je nastajala več stoletij po opustitvi Emone in nam kaže, kako je mesto propadalo) najprej dobili vpogled v najmlajše obdobje rimskega mesta, sedaj pa se počasi že bližamo najstarejšim fazam.

Severno območje dela DECUMANUS (območje severno od mostička)
Na severnem delu nas je razveselilo odkritje ceste in pločnika, ter obcestnega jarka med njima. Gre za del glavne mestne ulice v smeri sever-jug (cardo maximus), ki se ravno na tem delu križa z dekumanom. Žal je bila prečna ulica (decumanus) s cestiščem in pločniki ob mlajših posegih precej poškodovana, kljub vsemu pa se je ohranil ozek rob ceste iz zbitega proda ter del kloake, ki je ležala pod njo.

Zaenkrat na tem delu odstranjujemo sloje pločnika in cestišča, saj sta bila oba podvržena številnim popravilom, ki so bila lahko posledica rednih obnovitvenih del, ali pa izrednih dogodkov. Tako lahko vidimo, da se je na pločnik v nekem trenutku zrušil zid sosednje stavbe, ruševine pa nato niso odstranili, ampak so le izravnali in utrdili površino ter pločnik obnovili nad njo.

Nenavadno odkritje v obcestnem jarku sta bili ustji dveh amfor, za kateri se je izkazalo, da sta bili tja postavljeni načrtno, kot požiralnika vode iz obcestnega jarka. Meteorno vodo sta tako preusmerili navzdol, v kanal nekdanje kanalizacije, ki je ležala pod obcestnim jarkom. Ko smo namreč nižali plasti, sta na dan prišla tudi dva starejša kanala kanalizacije iz dveh različnih obdobij, ki se med seboj razlikujeta tako po smeri, kot po načinu gradnje.

Južno območje dela DECUMANUS (območje južno od mostička)
To območje zaznamujejo raziskave roba insule na zahodni strani ulice cardo maximus: odkriti so bili zidovi stavbe, ki je ležala ob kardu, del pločnika in odtočni kanal, ki je odplake iz insule odvajal v zbirni kanal pod cesto karda. Zaenkrat še ni jasno, v katero smer je ta zbirni kanal potekal in kam je odvajal odplake.

Omenjena stavba je imela kar burno preteklost, saj je bila uničena v požaru. Pod zgornjo ruševino smo namreč odkrili še eno, starejšo ruševino, ki je kaže očitne sledove gorenja. Očitno ruševine stavbe po prvem požaru niso popolnoma odstranili, ampak so (podobno kot pri pločniku na severnem delu) površino le nekoliko očistili, jo zravnali in utrdili, nato pa na istem mestu obnovili stavbo. Kot kaže je bila to v Emoni splošna praksa, saj je mesto je na tak način skozi stoletja »zraslo« v višino za dober meter.

Zanimivost tega južnega dela je tudi lega treh kanalizacij iz treh različnih obdobij – vse tri namreč potekajo po isti osi! Rimski zbirni kanal, ki je ležal pod kardom, je bil skoraj popolnoma uničen ob gradnji novoveške kanalizacije, to pa je poškodovala kanalizacija iz sedemdesetih let prejšnjega stoletja.

V prihodnjih dneh nas čaka še veliko dela, saj nadaljujemo z izkopavanjem na območju rimskega križišča pa tudi na območju insule. Z vsako odstranjeno plastjo sežemo globje v preteklost in spoznavamo, kako se je prostor spreminjal skozi čas. Če vas zanima, kaj vse se še skriva pod delom, ki ga ravnokar raziskujemo, nas spremljajte.


Every street that connected eastern and western part of the city Emona was called decumanus. It passed five streets (cardo) on its course, and between many crossroads a correct layout with 47 building plots (insulae) was formed. There was a sewer (cloaca) below each of the seven emonian decumani. The sewer was a main channel for gathering sewage from the insulae and draining it towards Ljubljanica river.

Part of our excavations that we call DECUMANUS in our weekly reports represents fenced area between “Šumi” parking area and “Gregorčičeva ulica” street. Watchful observer surely noticed that until recently this area was divided into two parts that are now joined together. There is a small bridge between them, which enables the residents of Slovenska 12 an access to their courtyard, and offers a great view on the excavations site to our visitors. Whoever entered ancient Emona through the Northern city gates and continued their way towards forum, passed this area which was a second crossroad on their way.

At the beginning of our excavations we had to face all the evidence of constructions from the Modern and Mid-Modern Period. These were shown in a form of different concrete shafts, sewers, water piping and remains of houses that have been demolished more than a century ago. Some of the constructions completely ruined remains of the roman city, others just damaged them, but a part remained intact. Here we discovered the so called “dark soil” (a layer formed in the centuries after the roman city had been abandoned) and below it layers form the final period of Emona. We are now slowly getting closer to the oldest phases of the colony.

The northern part of DECUMANUS (area north of the bridge)
Exciting discovery in the northern part was a road with a pavement and a ditch between them. It was part of the main Emonian street in the direction North-South (cardo maximus). This area was actually a crossroad between cardo maximus and decumanus, but unfortunately decumanus with the road and the pavements was damaged with younger buildings. Nevertheless we did find a narrow line of the road, made of river pebbles, and part of a sewer.

Currently we are removing layers of pavement and roadway, which went through numerous repairs, some of which were connected with regular renovations, others with exceptional events. We discovered that in one moment in the past part of a building, standing next to the street, fell on the pavement. The rubble then wasn’t removed, the ground was just levelled, and a new pavement was made on top.

Unusual discovery in the road ditch were upper parts of two amphorae, which were placed there intentionally, to drain the water from the ditch. They channelled meteor waters into a channel of an ex-sewer, which lay beneath the road ditch. This became apparent after we removed some of the layers and discovered two older channels from two different periods underneath.

The southern part of DECUMANUS (area south of the bridge)
Our research in this area is connected with discoveries of roman insula on the western side of cardo maximus. We came across walls of a building that lay next to cardo, a part of a pavement and a sewage channel. This channel drained the sewage into a bigger channel under cardo. For now it is still not clear where this channel led.

The abovementioned building had a pretty turbulent past as it was destroyed in a fire. We discovered two ruins of the building: under the upper one, there was another, older ruin, which clearly shows evidence of burning. It seems that after the fire builders didn’t remove the rubble, but just cleared the surface, made it even and then built a new building on top of the old one. It seems this was an usual practice in Emona and through the centuries the city grew in height for more than one meter.

Interesting feature of this area is also position of three sewerages from three different periods – all three were built in the same location. Roman channel, which lay under cardo, was almost completely destroyed in the Mid-Modern Period, when they built their sewerage. In the end both of the older sewers were damaged by the modern sewerage, built in the 1970’.

We have lots to do in the following days as we continue excavating the area around the roman crossroad and also the part with the insula. With each layer removed, we reach deeper into the past and get closer to understanding how the space changed throughout the centuries.

If you are interested in the discoveries that will come to light in the following days, make sure to follow us.