Conservation and restoration of the ancient floors
Central building complex
Restoration of the corridors’ floors (1995-1998, 2003-2005)
Work involved the removal, conservation, resetting and aesthetic restoration of the preserved floors in the central complex’s north, west, and south (west section) corridors (1088 sq. m.). Earlier construction phases revealed during excavation were filled in with sand gravel. The mosaics were then reset, at the ancient floor level, on a new substratum of compatible mortar made in accordance with ancient techniques. In the south and west corridors, parts of the 4th and 5th c. floors were reset, while simultaneously two earlier mosaic floors (3rd c. A.D.) were highlighted and covered with specially-designed protective glass coverings.
In the north corridor’s central compartment, following the resetting of the mosaics, the unification of its scattered parts was carried out according to the graphic representation, by the completion of its geometric motifs with compatible colored mortar having the dominant color of the motif in a lighter hue.
Restoration of the marble floor (2004 – 2005)
• Removal of cement mortar from the plaques, and the resetting of detached, intact small marble plaques on a new, compatible mortar substratum.
• Assembling and gluing of the fragmentary slabs and small plaques, and integration of their destroyed parts with compatible mortar of a similar color/hue.
• Aesthetic restoration of the floor with the integration of its destroyed sections. More specifically: in place of the destroyed plaques, new ones with similar characteristics were placed, to restore the floor’s design and color synthesis, which is chiefly based on the alternation of white and red marble. The few intervened areas were demarcated by a stainless steel plates border. Larger gaps lacking documentation concerning the type of marble with which they had been paved were completed with compatible mortar.
The marble floors of the baths and the Basilica were restored using the same methodology (81 sq. m.).
Works included the conservation of wall paintings and plasters (308 sq. m.), chiefly in the baths and the Octagon.