“During the archaeological excavations we came upon a cellar that was sealed by a collapse, comprised of building stones and charred beams.”
Stern said that beneath the cellar floor a hoard of about 350 marble items and colored stones were discovered, including two broken marble tombstones with Latin inscriptions with one belonging to a person by the name of Maratinus.
Flat marble slabs and marble tiles of various sizes and colors were found as well.
“Some extraordinary items were also found, among them a large stone cross and a large fragment of porphyry (a rare precious purple stone, which was the color of royalty in Roman times),” Stern said.
“The quality of the marble is excellent and it was undoubtedly imported from abroad.”