The Macellum of Pozzuoli
Proof of the lively commercial activities of Puteoli is the Temple of Serapis (1st-2nd century AD) called as such due to the discovery of a statue of the Egyptian divinity here. But in reality, the structure had in fact been a Macellum, a food market. Shops lined the sides of a porticoed courtyard, whilst the apsed hall at the back was dedicated to the imperial cult and the gods believed to protect the market (amongst whom Serapis). The columns of this hall are the clearest markers of Phlegrean volcanic phenomena. Boreholes made by marine molluscs can be seen on them and are thus proof that they were submerged by water during phases of negative bradyseism. The seawater hit the highest level of 5.7 metres in the 11th century, before the Phlegrean territory began to rise again.
Images: Ra Boe, Norbert Nagel, Ferdinando Marfella