The eastern residential area

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In Early Imperial times, the urban area expanded outside of the walled circuit, where an area was levelled to arrange a new residential zone on the slope between the Theatre to the east and the Library-Fountain complex to the west. In this area geophysical survey (magnetometry, georadar) supervised by B. Mušič (Department of Archaeology, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia) revealed a regular pattern of insulae, with peristyle houses and average sized dwellings, probably with commercial or artisanal spaces attached to them and divided by streets. Whereas the northwestern part of the area showed regularly planned, slightly northwest-southeast oriented insulae, the plan of the eastern and southeastern parts of the surveyed slope showed more irregular and less symmetrically planned structures, which were built perpendicular to the slope. The physical setting and planning of the area suggests that this area probably contained more valuable building plots, which were accessible to the higher social classes. Using these excellent results, the development of the eastern residential area was further investigated by F. Martens through test soundings (1999: TSN; 2000: TSW1-4; 2004: TSW5; 2008: TSW6-7). These excavations confirmed that this domestic area, which was already ab ovo equipped with an elaborate water distribution and drainage network, was laid out during the early Imperial period, with at least one phase of rearrangement during the transition of the second to the third century AD. The area was also traversed from northwest to the southeast by an important street, connecting the Library-Fountain House area with the Theatre, but which did not follow the regular organisation of the insulae. For this connective street with oblique orientation, the context of the building programs around the Fountain House and of the Theatre favoured a construction date during the later second or early third century AD. Although some parts of the area, such as the one around trench “TSW5” upon a major north-south street already proved to have been abandoned and dismantled in the (later) fourth century AD, the surface survey suggested that the area at large continued to be used into the sixth century AD.