Aqueducts are among Ancient Rome's most famous engineering achievements. Today, many impressive ruins can be seen throughout the Roman world, including in Rome itself. In fact some Roman aqueducts are still used today, including the restored Aqua Virgo and Aqua Traiana, which feed the Trevi Fountain and Fontana dell'Acqua Paoa respectively. Famous as they are, some Roman aqueducts have also held an air of mystery. The source of one aqueduct in particular, the Aqua Traiana, has long been a secret. Lake Bracciano has fed the aqueduct since ancient times, but the Aqua Traiana's exact starting point has been unknown until now. On the shore of Lake Bracciano, a pair of amateur archaeologists have discovered underground chambers, beneath a 13th century church, which they believe is the source of the aqueduct. The chambers exhibit typicall Roman opus reticulatum masonry and vaulted ceilings. The team's findings have yet to be confirmed by professional archaeologists, but if this is the true source of the Aqua Traiana, it would be an amazing find.
Saturday, January 30, 2010
Posted by Primvs Pilvs at 7:32 AM
Saturday, January 16, 2010
Italy is at it again. This time their target is the famous 'Victorious Youth,' currently located at the Getty Villa in California. The statue is exceptional in the fact that it is bronze and Greek, a very rare combination in surviving ancient art. Italy's case is this: the statue was fished out of the sea near Fano, Italy in 1964 and subsequently illegally smuggled out of the country, later to be purchased by the Getty. The Getty's version is the same, minus the 'illegally smuggled' part. I'm sure both sides have what they believe to be concrete evidence supporting their case and it's going to be difficult to determine who acted in good faith and who didn't. The Getty's track record regarding stolen antiquities is certainly tarnished, but the Italians may also be accused of trying to drain other countries of antiquities for their own political purposes.
Posted by Primvs Pilvs at 8:19 AM
Saturday, January 9, 2010
Art is meant to be seen. If you go to any art museum, you will see throngs of people examining all types of art, often contorting themselves to get the right perspective or to see certain details. I'm guilty of this; I can only image what the museum guards think of me as I twist my body and practically do handstands to get a certain exact view of some Roman statue or Greek coin. How people interact with art is a big part of my interest in ancient art. In particular, I am interested how ancient people viewed their art, why they created it and what it meant to them. Today, we view ancient artifacts in a museum setting, thinking of them as relics from a lost world. To the ancient Greeks and Romans, thought, their art was contemporary and alive, created for their every day use. How ancient people viewed their art can tell us a lot about their perspectives, but unfortunately literary evidence on such perspectives is scarce. We must instead look at the archaeological record and disseminate what information we can.
Posted by Primvs Pilvs at 10:50 AM