The port baths

The bath complex that rises on the promontory’s north-western edge on the bank of the northern port basin of Elaiussa Sebaste has a long building history.

The archaeological investigations carried out between 1999 and 2002 have allowed to understand its monumental development during the course of  centuries. A  first phase dated approximately to the second half of the 1st century B.C. of which only quite few pieces of wall was followed by a second phase, of Augustan age which already can be referred to a bathing complex which presents a development of the rooms along north-south axis which shall characterize all the subsequent building developments. During the IIIrd century A.D. the monument underwent great restructuring works which implied its extending towards the eastern rocky wall  which was dug out to build other rooms. To this latter phase belong the most monumental excavated remains the functions of most have been identified, south and west are the caldaria-heated rooms-, north are the tepidaria and , finally there are other two rooms inside which two basins are set, probably both for the frigidaria –cold water bathing. In the building’s southern section, hypocausts were brought to light which allowed to heat the caldaria using wall flues and suspensurae under the suspended floors to convey the hot air. The floors were covered with coloured as well as black and white mosaics, as well as the basins. During the Vth century A.D.  the bathing function of the complex fell into disuse, but the southern part of the building was still used for manufacturing activities which remained active at least until the VITH-VII th centuries A.D as attested by the unearthed fragments of  millstones and by the presence of another very large intact limestone millstone prove the presence of an olive oil press. 

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