Friday, December 12, 2008

Rare artifacts uncovered in Roman baths dig

Rare artifacts uncovered in Roman baths dig
Wed Dec 10, 2008 11:53pm IST

By Deepa Babington

ROME (Reuters Life!) - Excavations at an ancient Roman villa and bath complex in the outskirts of Rome have unearthed a wealth of surprisingly well-preserved artifacts, including the marble head of a Greek god, archaeologists said on Wednesday.

"It's very unusual to find such well-preserved remains in Rome because most of the sites have usually been plundered already and the artifacts stolen," Dora Cirone, an archaeologist on the dig, said at a news conference to announce the findings.

"Luckily, much of the remains here were found buried below floor level, and no one had laid their hands on it."

Of note:
  • The site is Villa delle Vignacce, near Ciampino airport southwest of Rome;
  • First explored by archaeologists in 1780 who found statues that are now in the Vatican museum;
  • excavations began two years ago, revealing residence attached to thermal bath complex dating to 1st century A.D.;
  • archaeologists said they had also uncovered artifacts including: fragments of columns, floor slabs and the head of a marble statue believed to represent either the Greek divinity of Zeus Serapide or Asclepius, the god of medicine and healing;
  • Discovery of special importance is colored-glass mosaic of leaves and vegetation lining the inside of a vault.
For more on well preserved ancient artifact sites to see authentic ancient Roman lifestyle click Campania TV and Naples TV on, the only Internet video about Italy.

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