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The Roman Military Base at Dura-Europos, SyriaAn Archaeological Visualization$
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Simon James

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198743569

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198743569.001.0001

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Military Presence around and beyond the Base Area

Military Presence around and beyond the Base Area

8 Military Presence around and beyond the Base Area
The Roman Military Base at Dura-Europos, Syria

Simon James

Oxford University Press

The C3 bathhouse, in the heart of the old lower town, the grandest Roman bath in Dura, was not originally envisaged to form part of the present project as it lay well outside the area previously recognized as forming the Roman military base. However, it has long been thought that this bath, and the similar facility M7 at the other end of Main St near the Palmyrene Gate, were constructed by the soldiers. In the case of the C3 bathhouse it also became apparent post-2010 that the zone taken over by the military extended all the way into the adjacent block B2, while the S frontage of B4 opposite the bath on Lower Main St may well have been the edge of the unified military base. Consequently, had it been possible to conduct further fieldwork as projected for 2012, full re-survey of the C3 and (for completeness and comparison) M7 baths would have been undertaken. Circumstances prevented this; however, discussion of these facilities is still necessary, especially as both were only summarily published. This review draws on a preliminary inspection undertaken in 2010, as well as archival material. It concludes that the C3 facility was significantly larger and grander even than already understood. Like the other bathhouses, the C3 facility was visible as an upstanding mound, and especially noticeable as the Ottoman road ran directly through it. The bath was partially excavated during the sixth season, and archival records are relatively good including a six-page typescript document, ‘Notes on Roman Bath in Block C3, excavated Jan.–Mar. 1933’, annotated ‘M. Crosby?’ There is also partial photographic coverage of the structure. The finds registers record 262 finds from the building, over 100 of them ascribed to specific rooms; however, few can now be specifically identified. Brown published a brief account of the bath, composed from ‘the notes of the excavator, Miss Margaret Crosby, carefully checked by personal observation of the author’ (PR 6, 95, n. 7). This, the only publication on the C3 facility, formed part of Brown’s comparative study of Dura’s bathhouses (PR 6, 95–104 and pl. IV, reproducing archive drawing Bath N.12; note on the mosaics and inscription 631: PR 6, 104–5; pls XVI.2–3; XXXIX.1–3).

Keywords:   Heliodorus, Palmyrene Gate, River Gate, Tower, base area, glass/glassware, incense burners, marble veneering, necropolis, window glass

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