Friday, April 7, 2017

Divers search lake for Roman Emperor Caligula's pleasure barge, site of wild orgies

Today, the serene waters of Lake Nemi make it a quaint getaway, one that is best known for its peaceful landscapes and the area's delicious wild strawberries.
But in ancient Roman times, the volcanic lake southeast of Rome was the anchor point for Emperor Caligula's pleasure ships - massive and ornate barges that were rumored to be the sites of wild orgies and other excessive indulgences.
For nearly 2,000 years, the sunken remains of Caligula's pleasure ships tantalized divers, who launched expeditions to recover them, with little success.
It wasn't until 1927, when Italian dictator Benito Mussolini ordered Lake Nemi drained, that two of the ships began to be fully revealed. Measuring 230 and 240 feet long, the "Nemi ships" recovered over the next several years astounded researchers with their advanced technology.
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A Lost Roman City Has Been Discovered in Southern France


For the first time in over a thousand years, archeologists have laid eyes on the ancient Roman town of Ucetia, which is decked out with some surprisingly well-preserved mosaics.

The discovery by the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research (INRAP) was made near modern-day Uzès in the south of France during the construction of a school. The 4,000-square-meter (43,056-square-foot) site contains artifacts ranging from the Roman Republic era (1st century BCE) to the late antiquity (7th century), right through to the Middle Ages.

The town’s existence was first hinted at when researchers found an inscription saying Ucetia on a stone slab in nearby Nîmes. A few isolated fragments and mosaic pieces suggested the site of the mysterious Roman town, but it remained hidden until INRAP started to dig beneath the surface.

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Rome Metro workers accidentally discovered an ancient aqueduct

The aqueduct. Photo: Archaeological Superintendency Rome
A 2,300-year-old aqueduct uncovered by workers on Rome's new Metro line has been hailed as "a sensational discovery of enormous importance" by the city's Superintendency for Archaeology.
Archaeologists first stumbled across the impressive ruin at the end of 2016, though it was not publicly announced until Sunday. On Wednesday, the team presented the results of analysis of the structure, along with that of other recent finds, at a conference hosted by Rome's Sapienza university.

Simona Morretta, who led the team of archaeologists, said the 32-metre stretch was likely part of the Aqua Appia - the oldest known Roman aqueduct, which dates back to 312 BC.
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DÉCOUVERTE D’UN SANCTUAIRE GALLO-ROMAIN À MURVIEL-LÈS-MONTPELLIER


Cette fouille a donné lieu à la découverte des vestiges d’un sanctuaire gallo-romain. Dimanche 9 avril 2017, les archéologues présenteront leurs découvertes au  public, lors de visites guidées.

Àl’occasion de l’aménagement d’un lotissement par Rambier Aménagement à Murviel-lès-Montpellier, une fouille préventive prescrite par l’État (Drac Occitanie) a donné lieu à la découverte des vestiges d’un sanctuaire gallo-romain. Les archéologues de l’Inrap, en partenariat avec le service Archéologie et Patrimoine de la Communauté d’agglomération du Bassin de Thau (CABT) enrichissent ainsi la  connaissance de l’agglomération antique fouillée sur la commune depuis de nombreuses années.  

Dimanche 9 avril, les archéologues présenteront leurs découvertes au  public, lors de visites guidées proposées toute la journée. 

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Monday, April 3, 2017

Rich Roman haul surprises Dutch archaeologists

A Roman ring, found at the dig. Photo: William Hoogteyling via HH 

Archeologists digging at a site in Tiel in the province of Gelderland, have found a rich haul of Roman artefacts, among which a statue of the god Jupiter, a grave stone inscribed DEAE (to the goddess), 2,500 bronze objects and a unique ointment pot. 

The dig is one of a number of archaeological activities taking place on an 80 hectare site which is projected to become part of the adjacent Medel industrial estate. As with any major construction work, archaeologists are invited to investigate what is in the ground before any building is done. 

The area has yielded treasure before. In November last year archaeologists found numerous artefacts dating back some 6,000 years, and a Roman funerary urn with a small glass bottle inside it.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Massive Coin Hoard Found At Wealthy Roman House In Northern Italy

An extensive Roman building has been unearthed during archaeological excavations in via Virgilio in the town of Merano located in the province of Bolzano in Trentino- Alto Adige region, Northern Italy. 


The finds, including finely decorated fibulae (pins for clothing), which are now being analyzed, clearly show that the Roman house "was inhabited by a rich family”, says to Catrin Marzoli, director of the local provincial Superintendence of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape.

“A hoard of coins was buried in the ground and hidden under a millstone of the kitchen of the house – a treasure which was buried and never recovered", explains Catrin Marzoli.

"In total 3187 coins dating from the late third/early fourth century AD were recovered. The coins are in fact from the period of the Tetrarchy, when Emperor Diocletian, to stem the crisis of the Roman Empire, divided it into two parts - a western and an eastern - ruled by two senior emperors with the title of Augustus and two younger emperors with the title of Caesar. On the coins we found at Maia Alta in Merano, Maximianus Augustus, Constantius Clorus Caesar, Diocletianus Augustus and Galerius Caesar are immortalized."

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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Exhibition reveals hidden history of Colosseum after the fall of Rome, from medieval fortresses to slaughterhouses

An artist's impression of the timber walkway used by soldiers guarding the medieval fortress that was built into the side of the Colosseum CREDIT: COLOSSEUM EXHIBITION

Archaeologists in Rome have discovered the remains of a timber walkway used by soldiers guarding a fortress built into the remains of the Colosseum during the Middle Ages.
Gladiatorial contests and other spectacles held in the massive amphitheatre ground to a halt by the sixth century AD with the collapse of the Roman Empire and the arena was gradually appropriated for other uses in succeeding centuries. 
By the 12th century a powerful baronial family, the Frangipane, had commandeered the Colosseum and built a formidable fortress into its southern flank. The walkway was built on the top tier of the amphitheatre, enabling the clan’s soldiers to watch out for enemy forces.  The Frangipane were at war with another family of Roman nobles, the Annibaldi.
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Monday, March 6, 2017

Archaeologists Uncover Vast Ancient Roman Mining Operation in Spain


Archaeologists excavating the ancient city of Munigua in southern Spain have found a vast Roman copper mining operation built on an older mine dating back thousands of years.

Exploitation of ore at Munigua apparently began by the Turdetani, the original inhabitants of the region, over  4,000 years ago. Now the excavators have discovered an elaborate system of ventilated underground galleries connected by tunnels dating to the Roman era.

They also found shafts connecting at various heights forming floors that let the miners extract metal deeper than had been believed possible at the time. Happily for the miners, the ancient Romans were on to the secret of ventilation.

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LE DIEU MITHRA DÉCOUVERT EN CORSE



Une équipe de l’Inrap vient de mettre au jour un sanctuaire dédié au dieu Mithra sur le site de Mariana, à Lucciana (Haute-Corse). L’opération, autorisée par  le préfet de Corse, est placée sous le contrôle scientifique de la Drac de Corse (service déconcentré du ministère de la Culture et de la Communication) en liaison avec la commission territoriale de la recherche archéologique sud-est.

D’après Sénèque et Pline, Mariana est une colonie de citoyens romains, fondée vers 100 avant notre ère par Caius Marius, général, consul et grand réformateur de l’armée romaine, après sa retentissante victoire sur les peuples Cimbres et Teutons. Elle s’inscrit dans une stratégie militaire à l’échelle de la mer tyrrhénienne. À son apogée, vers le IIIe ou le IVe siècle, Mariana, une petite agglomération ne dépassant guère dix hectares, est organisée en une vingtaine d’îlots. Son port participe activement aux échanges commerciaux en Méditerranée. La fouille archéologique met au jour un quartier périphérique de la Mariana antique.

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Stretch of Roman road unveiled beneath McDonald's restaurant


Customers in search of a little cultural heritage along with their Big Macs and fries can descend underground and view the Roman road, as well as three ancient skeletons that were found buried in the culverts either side of it. CREDIT: MAURO CONSILVIO

Two thousand years after legionaries tramped along its well-worn paving stones, an exceptionally well-preserved stretch of Roman road has been opened to the public – beneath a McDonald’s restaurant.

In what the American burger chain says is its first museum-cum-restaurant anywhere in the world, the 150ft-long stretch of basalt road has been cleared, cleaned and made into a permanent attraction at Frattocchie, south of Rome.

Customers in search of a little cultural heritage along with their Big Macs and fries can descend underground and view the Roman road, as well as three ancient skeletons that were found buried in the culverts either side of it.

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Monday, February 20, 2017

Transport back in time to ancient Roman sites with virtual reality


Cutting-edge technology is helping bring ancient Rome back to life.
Visitors at historic sites thousands of years old can now use virtual reality headsets to see what they once looked like. Digital artists used Renaissance-era artists’ depictions to help re-envision the relics. CBS News correspondent Seth Doane went inside the ancient underground ruins in Rome, where tourists can see what’s no longer there.
The cavernous space was once above ground, the grand home of Emperor Nero, and considered one of the most magnificent palaces ever built. Its name, “Domus Aurea,” means “golden house.” It’s hard to believe it was once colorful and flooded with light. But now, modern technology is letting tourists peek into the past.
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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Pompeii Wall Collapses


Superintendency experts and Carabinieri police are on the scene.

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Monday, January 30, 2017

To understand Trump, we should look to the tyrants of ancient Rome

Bust of the emperor Commodus dressed as Hercules, in the Capitoline Museum, Rome. 
Photograph: Alinari via Getty Images

He looks like a strong man – the strongest. Holding a huge club to beat his enemies with, the Roman emperor Commodus wears a lion skin over his bearded, empty-looking face in a marble portrait bust made in the second century AD, which is one of the treasures of Rome’s Capitoline Museum. He is posing as the mythic hero Hercules, whose muscular might made him victorious in one spectacular fight after another. The portrait literally equates the strength of Hercules with the power of the emperor.

This is an idea Donald Trump might like. He surrounds himself with gold as lavishly as any tyrant. Why not commission a portrait of himself as Hercules for the Oval Office instead of just moving around busts of Winston Churchill and Martin Luther King?

The way the worst Roman emperors are portrayed in art can help us to see Trump more clearly. When we look at the face of Commodus in this eerie portrait, we are staring into the eyes of unhinged, utterly perverse tyranny. When this son of the respected emperor Marcus Aurelius took control of the vast Roman empire in AD161 he embarked on a career of bizarre folly and monstrous cruelty. As well as executing his enemies and perceived enemies, he liked to fight in the arena, killing gladiators with his own hands in a spectacle that educated Romans found shameful and disturbing.

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Foundations of three Roman houses found under Chichester park


Large properties just inside city walls, identified using radar, would have been equivalent to homes worth millions today



Foundations of three large Roman houses preserved for almost 2,000 years have been discovered in a park in the centre of Chichester.
James Kenny, an archaeologist at Chichester district council, believes that when fully excavated they will prove to be some of the best Roman houses found in a city centre in Britain.
“To find what appear to be well-preserved Roman remains in one of the few stretches of open ground in a city which has been continuously built and rebuilt ever since the days of Alfred the Great is really exciting,” Kenny said. “Particularly since this city had no mains drains until so late – not until the 1880s – it is absolutely pockmarked with centuries of cesspits and rubbish dumps, so very little undisturbed Roman material remains.”
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Chichester Roman houses found under Priory Park


Ground-penetrating scans of a park have revealed three near-complete Roman buildings in Chichester.
Archaeologists, who were left stunned by the degree of preservation, have said the only reason they survived was because Priory Park was never built on.
Two houses and a third building were found. Moving images from a scan show the shapes of two buildings emerge.
It is thought the houses in Noviomagus Reginorum - the Roman name for the town - were owned by people of importance.

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