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The buildings that were excavated in the 19th century were often filled with earth again, but sometimes left as they were and not consolidated, so that they seriously degraded. In the 20th century restoration and consolidation became more common. Both the degradation and restoration leave us with the question of what was actually found by the excavators. When the excavations began, a few walls of baths and temples were sticking out of four to twelve metres of rubble and earth, accumulated on top of the Imperial level. The excavation reports from 1801 - 1942 usually do not provide detailed descriptions of the stratigraphy and the collapsed walls and ceilings. Once we know what was found, we can begin to study the final phase of the city.

The Palazzo Imperiale in a depiction from the 19th century.
Note the large mounds of earth on either side of the building. From Calza 1926.

The excavations of the Piazza dei Lari (1916). Photograph: SAOA B2162.