The second week of excavation at Truckle Hill is, if anything, even more rewarding than the first. Some 3m away from the rear wall of the caldarium and running more or less parallel to it, is another wall, in remarkable condition. Interest turned to real excitement when careful trowelling revealed decorated plaster on the wall. This suggests an internal wall beyond what we had thought was the extent of the bath-house. The plaster is painted with a design of red and yellow, imitating exotic foreign marble, with a buff panel framed with black. Only a small section has been uncovered but it is likely that there is more, hidden beneath the soil.
Down the slope from the bath-house we are finding quantities of wall plaster, small fragments, many of them coloured. Pieces of stone roof tile, flue tile and the odd tessera all suggest that this is where building material was dumped when the bath-house was altered or demolished.
Some 100m from the bath-house, work continues on the mysterious mound further up the valley. There is a spring near here and last week it looked as if this might have been the site of a cistern, providing water for the bath-house. Now this seems less likely. Layers of mortar have been uncovered where the ground dips in the centre of the mound. Could this be where the mortar for building the bath-house was produced?
As so often happens, this excavation is not only answering old questions, but raising new, exciting ones as well.