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Journal of archaeology and ancient architecture

Tag Archives: Rome

Archeologia e architettura nell’area delle “Terme di Elagabalo”, alle pendici nord-orientali del Palatino. Dagli isolati giulio-claudii alla chiesa paleocristiana

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Cante_SaguìAt the conclusion of the archaeological investigations into the building complex on the North-East slopes of the Palatine Hill, known in the archaeological literature as “Baths of Elagabalus”, this study clarifies the main building phases of the area, from the Julio-Claudian period to the Late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages. In particular, three building blocks have been examined dating back to the Julio-Claudian age, destroyed by the fire under the empire of Nero in 64 AD, which apparently were not followed by a new building phase. The construction activities started again under Hadrian, when the area was occupied by a new building, probably for commercial activities, with spaces overlooking the street towards the Forum, included in a much larger urban project, which extended between the Temple of Venus and Rome and the monumental substructures of the Palatine. The Hadrianic building had a short life: already in the Severan period it was demolished to be replaced by a new building of still uncertain use , with a large courtyard and many rooms around, and others opened towards the street. In the first half of the fourth century AD, on the ruins of the Severan building, a new edifice was founded characterized by a large peristyle, with pools and fountains inside the columnades, and by a cruciform hall with a masonry stibadium. A well was accessible through a large staircase, and on its bottom a dolium was placed, whose function is still uncertain. In a period that could be probably placed around the Seventh century, the area – then abandoned – was occupied by a small church with a single nave, whose walls reused in the foundations a large amount of marble sculptures, probably decorating the Severan building.

Archeologia e rischio sismico

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dagostinoSome Italian MIBAC (Italian Minister for cultural heritage) memoranda apply to the archaeological sites the same seismic rules used for buildings. That appears incorrect because the state of ruin is subject to a quite different use, but also has the peculiar needs of conservation. Starting from the idea that the “archaeological built heritage” has an artistic or monumental standing and it may also represent a simple attestation of aspects of human activity in the past, this paper suggests a different cultural attitude aimed to simultaneously respect the safety of visitors and avoid actions disrespectful of the material history of the ancient built.

La meta sudans augustea: note per una sua ricostruzione

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canteTra il 2002 e il 2003 nel cantiere di scavo dell’Università di Roma “La Sapienza” nella piazza del Colosseo, presso l’arco di Costantino, si ebbe uno straordinario rinvenimento. Proprio al di sotto della fontana di età flavia, nota come Meta Sudans, emersero i resti, immediatamente riconoscibili, di un monumento analogo: una fontana di epoca augustea del tutto simile a quella flavia, ma di dimensioni inferiori. Oltre ai resti in situ, lo scavo ha restituito anche diversi blocchi in marmo di Luni appartenenti alla decorazione architettonica del saliente. Questi elementi hanno consentito l’ipotesi di ricostruzione del monumento che viene presentata in questa sede.

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Between 2002 and 2003 in the excavation site of the University of Rome “La Sapienza” in front of the Colosseum, near the Arch of Constantine,an extraordinary discovery was carried out. Just below the fountain of the Flavian age, known as Meta Sudans, the remains of a similar monument has been identified: a fountain of the Augustan age, very similar to the Flavian one, but smaller. Besides the remains in situ several blocks in Luni marble were also recovered, belonging to the architectural decoration of the salient. These elements have enabled the hypothesis of reconstruction of the monument, which is presented here.

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