Within the framework of restoration work on the building, excavation related to the study of earlier building phases was carried out. It involved the following areas:
In 1995, during the removal of surface fill from the peristyle courtyard, debris was uncovered in places as well as two wells for rainwater collection which were connected with the palace’s drainage network. Excavation trenches at the same site revealed at a depth of 0.50 meters a destruction level with traces of burning, charred wood, fragments of tiles, bricks, and cornices as well as plaster. At a depth of 1.10-1.16 meters, remains of the earlier rubble were found, and to their west was uncovered a floor of plaster, clay soil, stone chips, and gravel, displaying intense subsidence in its center. Parts of subsided floors were also found in three rooms east of the courtyard, while in the northeast room there came to light an earlier rubble wall.
Excavation trenches in the north corridor following the removal of the surviving mosaic floor for conservation brought to light building remains predating the palace. A destruction layer was revealed in all trenches which consisted of burn traces and charred wood, and which was more than a meter thick. At a depth of 1.00-1.50 meters, parts of plaster and clay floors were found in places that had suffered severe subsidence, as well as the remains of rubble walls and a complex of courtyards πλέγμα αυλών.
Apart from the above finds, following the removal of the mosaic substrate, the discovery of shallow lime pits which were remains from construction work presented interest for the building phases of the palace. A coin of Diocletian was found in one of them.
West and south corridors (west section)
Following the removal for conservation purposes of the surviving parts of the marble floor in the west and south corridors, fragments of their original mosaic floor were revealed. In the shallow fill that covered the mosaic floor, coins of Valentinian II (371-392), Marcian (396-457), and Leo I (401-474) were found. This evidence dates the overlying floors to the second half of the 5th century.
Excavation trenches in the south corridor after the removal of its mosaic floor revealed parts of luxurious houses dating to the 2nd-3rd century AD which had been destroyed by fire. Correspondingly, excavation in the west corridor following the removal of its mosaic floor brought to light a shallow lime pit left over from construction work and plastered rooms of Roman times, while longitudinal trenches along the west wall revealed, according to the excavator, a water supply pipe 20 meters long dating to the Hellenistic period.
The excavation of the earlier building phases carried out under the supervision of archaeologist M.Karaberi.