Friday, January 11, 2013
Augustan-era sculptures found near Rome
Archaeologists say they've uncovered an "exceptional" group of sculptures dating to the 1st century BC in a villa in Rome's suburb of Ciampino.
The sculptures, found in an ancient villa owned by Roman general Marcus Valerius Messalla Corvinus, a patron of the poet Ovid, tell the myth of Niobe, the proud daughter of Tantalus who lost all her 14 children after boasting to the mother of Apollo and Artemis, Leto, about her fertility.
Niobe, regarded as a classic example of the retribution caused by the sin of pride or hubris, was turned to stone. Excavations at the villa have also revealed a thermal bath area with fragments of artistic mosaics and a swimming pool as long as 20 meters with walls painted blue.
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