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The photographs of the excavations illustrate the tremendous effort that was needed to clear, preserve and restore the ruins. But there are no indications of a structural approach: measuring devices, boxes for the finds, clearly defined trenches, and so on. More accurate excavations would surely have provided a wealth of evidence about late-antique and mediaeval Ostia. But would we also have been able to determine the function of many anonymous workshops? Would it have been possible to establish what goods were sold in shops?
The southern stretch of the Cardo, during the excavation (1938-1942).
Centre right is Molino I,XIII,4, to the left the Portico dell'Ercole (IV,II,2).
Photograph: SAOA B2992.
The southern stretch of the Cardo, after restoration. Photograph: SAOA B3044.
The Cardo degli Aurighi, during the excavation (1939). Photograph: SAOA B2765.
The Cardo degli Aurighi as it appears today. Photograph: Jan Theo Bakker.
The Caseggiato dei Triclini, during the excavation (1927 or 1938-1942). Photograph: SAOA A2474.
The Caseggiato dei Triclini as it appears today. Photograph: Jan Theo Bakker.
The excavations of the Terme del Foro. Late 1930's. In the background is the museum. Photograph: SAOA B2377.
The Terme del Foro as they appear today. Photograph: Melissa Sellers.