Aquileia, Fondo Cossar, Italy
I-IV century A.D.

In this area, which takes its name from the former owner of the land, archaeological research started back in the 19th century and was intensively carried out until halfway through the 20th century, bringing to light valuable elements of the Roman town. In the southern sector the corner tower of the defensive walls was revealed, dating to the republican era, and towards the center of the area a section of a paved road and large portions of roman housed were found. The latter belonged to Aquileia’s affluent middle-class merchants. Between the 1st and the 4th century AD they were decorated with prestigious mosaic floors. In some cases floors overlapped. It is very difficult to define the plan of the houses and to state how many rooms they had because there are few remains and we have no doorsteps. On the northern house a very important mosaic was found: the “Good Shepherd” wearing an original and rare oriental suit. One of these houses is currently undergoing excavations and enhancement activities.

The «Fondi Cossar» archaeological site is now state-owned, but named after the former landowner. This site is characterized by the remains of three or more houses which were found through a number of excavation campaigns in the 20th century.

Since 2009 the University of Padua has performed further research in the area financed by the Fondazione Aquileia e ARCUS S.p.A.
The houses stood near the south-eastern corner of the Republican walls, uncovered in 2012, and were located in one of the southern blocks of Roman Aquileia. The block was enclosed between a north south road to the east, whose stone flooring is still visible today, and another parallel road to the west.
Tito Macro's house and the «Buon Pastore» mosaic
In the central area of the site, recent research has revealed the perimeter of a single big house covering an area of 1,200 m2 between the two parallel roads. Between the end of 1st century B.C. and the beginning of 1st century A.D., the house was characterized to the west by an entrance with a central well, alae, and a tablinum, while to the east by a garden surrounded by a windowed corridor with a mosaic floor. In the garden stood a fountain of which only the draining pipes remain. The main hall of the house, which underwent two transformations, looked out towards the garden. To the east stood shops along the road. During excavations in 2009, a stone weight was found with the inscription «Titi Macri» which most likely is the name of the home owner. Over time the house was renovated and restored several times. In the 4th century, a beautiful mosaic was placed on the main hall with a fishing scene depicted in the middle. Another more extensive mosaic dating back to the same period portrayed the «Buon Pastore» and adorned a wide room belonging to the neighbouring house. In 2012, following a call for ideas, a project for the protection and improvement of Tito Macro's house was adopted and is now under way.