The oldest context discovered consists of very small area with signs of ploughing and planting: indications of agricultural use.
For the first time on the Esquiline there is evidence of the open pozzolana quarries that characterised the area. Pozzolana was a much sought-after building material, especially during this period of great building expansion in Rome, the new master city of the Mediterranean.
Lucius Aelius Lamia bought the area, and after filling the quarries with rubble, built his horti. After this came repeated alterations that changed the setup of the gardens. One of these, in the Julio-Claudian period, installed a grand marble staircase that connected the different levels.
A rectangular room was installed in this part of the Horti. The plastering and paving of the interior suggests that it was used for storage.
The area was monumentalised. New construction enlarged the rectangular room and created a piazza with a small nymphaeum and fountain. From the fountain, the water ran along a 45-metre channel, a feature known as the euripus.
The euripus was eliminated, but the complex of piazza and nymphaeum were enlarged by adding mosaic-paved rooms, decorated with sumptuous marble.
Three buttresses were added on the eastern side to solve static problems. Shortly afterwards, two corner rooms were added for service functions.
The piazza-nymphaeum fell into disuse and its furnishings were stripped. Masonry works created modest new spaces within the grand structures. A few burials were deposited along the road. The archaeological layers above these were stripped during construction works at the end of the 19th century, for the new residential quarter of Esquilino.