Frescoed Wall

Frescoed Wall

This is a view looking northwest along the reconstructed western wall of the North Agora.  The archaeologists have reconstructed this wall using rectangular frescoed travertine blocks that were found in the area.   Note the people at the far end of the wall.  I estimate that the reconstructed wall is about 200 feet long and 25-30 feet high!  The rectangular carved stone blocks appear to be of travertine, covered with fresco painting.

I do not know of a similar wall elsewhere in the ancient Roman world.  To be frank, I could not believe my eyes with what I was seeing.  I never imagined that 'mere walls' would be so elaborately decorated!


The North (Sacred) Agora is located at the west end, and north of, Syrian Street. The three main entranceways are from the Syrian Street via monumental entrances.  There are two porticos running north-south—one on the east and one on the west.  Parallel to them, there were two long pools.  In the center of the Agora, there were two temples: one dedicated to Athena and the other to Zeus—along with associated altars.

The North Agora was initially constructed during the reign of Augustus (r. 27 BC to AD 14). The temples were dismantled during the reign of Constantine (r. 306–337) and a church was constructed at the north end of the Agora.  The earthquake of 494 destroyed parts of the Agora and it completely collapsed in the early seventh–century.