West of the Basilica is another important building unit that belonged to the palace. This area was inhabited before the palace complex was built, as was determined by the building remains of luxurious houses dating to the 2nd and 3rd centuries A.D. that came to light during recent excavations in the nineties. The peristyle consists of a building measuring 30 x 40 meters with 11 rooms organized around three sides of a nearly-square courtyard, surrounded by a porticus. There was a fountain in the center of the courtyard. In the form it is preserved today, this building formed a closed whole surrounded by wide covered corridors with mosaic floors.
There were gates in the masonry of the corridors allowing communication with the Basilica and other palace units to both north and south. In the middle of the south passageway was a monumental marble staircase that led to a corridor nine meters wide with mosaic floor (fragments of which are preserved); this in turn probably led to the palace’s main entrance towards the sea. On either side of this corridor (which was not excavated to its entire length) were the palace baths and the Octagon.
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