The International Ez Zantur Project

Preliminary Report on the 1999 Swiss-Liechtenstein excavations at ez Zantur

by Bernhard Kolb and Daniel Keller

VI. Ez Zantur III: Structures in squares 88/AL–AM

For the time being, it is impossible to reconstruct the original layout of the rooms in the eastern wing (Fig. 1–2) for the structures had obviously been badly affected by the tremors of the earthquake of 363 and, additionally, several humble installations and walls had been constructed during the last phase of occupation, reusing column drums and other spolia and thus obstructing the original arrangement of rooms. In square 88/AM a third, nicely preserved taboun of the fourth century was exposed, determining that the area had functioned as a kitchen. At the northern limit of square 88/AL two narrow flights (width: 75 cm) of a second staircase were exposed. In comparison to staircase 9, these stairs were both smaller in scale and inferior in quality. Presumably, they were part of what was, in the initial architectural context, devised as a secondary staircase for servants.

Restoration and consolidation

The consolidation of the structures on EZ III, the site to the north of ez Zantur was completed during the 1999 season. Darko Milosavljevic and his team of three workmen cleaned and consolidated walls AA, AI, BA, BB, BD, BS, BW, CB and CC Kolb – Keller – Gerber 1998; 259, Fig. 1. ). As during the preceding campaigns, the excavation on site EZ IV was accompanied by the necessary consolidation and restoration activities. The very unstable pillar-like structure south of courtyard 5 and the poorly preserved wall V were both repaired and consolidated. In order to stop the deterioration of room 26, the loose hammer-dressed stones of the preserved first course of walls A and AL had to be mortared to the bedrock. The remains of the tiny taboun in room 26 were cleaned and stabilized. The restoration of the eastern part of the outer wall H as well as the southernmost part of wall I, was a large-scale, but worthwhile operation (Fig. 2). The fragments of the polychrome wall decoration on the south face of wall AL (courtyard 15), which were cleaned and successfully protected in situ, posed another difficult task. Finally, the cracked, plain plaster on the walls of the adjacent room 21, were cleaned and consolidated.