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Market Tholos

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Market Tholos
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Photo Comments

View looking north at the tholos in the center of the Market Place of ancient Puteoli (= macellum).  Shops outline the square market.  In the center of the market is a round structure called a tholos.  Note the small columns that surround the tholos.  This round structure may have been a place for the storage and sale of fresh fish—the harbor is less than 200 yards away.

Beyond the tholos, behind the three tall columns, is a temple for the Imperial Cult (aka Emperor worship).  A statue of the Egyptian deity Serapis was found here and thus this area is sometimes called the Temple of Serapis.  The market dates to the first and second centuries A.D. and was restored in the third century.

Because the market sits on top of the caldera of a volcano it has risen and sunk through the ages.  At times 19.5 feet of the columns were under water—due to sinking!  Between 1982 and 1994 the land rose 5.6 feet!  In 2017, when this picture was taken, very little of the Macellum was under water.