|The First Art Newspaper on the Net
||Established in 1996
|| Wednesday, October 18, 2017
|Archaeologists discover Roman 'free choice' cemetery in the 2,700-year-old ancient port of Rome|
A photo shows a marble floor part of the last discoveries at the Parco dei Ravennati excavation site in Ostia Antica on July 17, 2014 near Rome. The American Institute for Roman Culture organized a visit of the site today to present new evidences of multiple domestic spaces and commercial activities in the Parco dei Ravennati, alongside the ancient Tiber River course (now silted over), in a place previously considered only a necropolis. AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO.
By: Laure Brumont
ROME (AFP).- Archaeologists in Italy have uncovered a cemetery in the 2,700-year-old ancient port of Rome where they believe the variety of tombs found reflects the bustling town's multi-cultural nature.
Ostia "was a town that was always very open, very dynamic," said Paola Germoni, the director of the sprawling site -- Italy's third most visited after the Colosseum and Pompeii.
"What is original is that there are different types of funeral rites: burials and cremations," she said this week.
The contrasts are all the more startling as the tombs found are all from a single family -- "in the Roman sense, in other words very extended", Germoni said.
The discovery is the latest surprise at Ostia after archaeologists in April said that new walls found showed the town was in fact 35-percent bigger than previously thought, making it bigger than ancient Pompeii.
Ostia, which was founded in the 7th century BC and is believed to have covered an area of 85 hectares, was once at the estuary of the Tiber River and is now about three kilometres (two miles) from the sea because of silting.
The place where the latest burials were found is inside a 15,000 square metre park close to a Renaissance castle on the edge of the main excavated area of the town, which had docks, warehouses, apartment houses and its own theatre.
The port was founded by Ancus Marcius, the fourth king of Rome, to provide his growing city with access to the sea, ensuring it would be supplied with flour and salt and to prevent enemy ships from going up the Tiber.
Around a dozen tombs have been found so far at the site, some of them including lead tablets with inscriptions containing curses to ward off potential looters.
The cemetery "shows the free choice that everyone had with their own body, a freedom people no longer had in the Christian era when burial became the norm," Germoni said.
The latest excavations, which began in 2012, have also revealed an aristocratic home with a polychromatic floor.
Thirty students from the American Institute for Roman Culture are also taking part and could be seen at work under the cypress trees next to the ancient basalt-block Roman road that once connected Ostia to the capital.
Hailing from Canada, Switzerland and the United States, the budding archaeologists were spending a few weeks in Rome on the dig as part of their studies.
"It's a dig that is very rich in different experiences," said Darius Arya, a US archaeologist who heads the institute.
They "are discovering restoration work but also a more anthropological approach with excavations of tombs," he said.
Among the students was Michal Ann Morrison from Austin, Texas in the United States, who is completing a degree in religious studies.
"You get to deal with tangible objects from history, which is really exciting," she said.
"I worked as the artifact intern for this year and it's an exciting position because you get to get your hands on all the coolest stuff."
© 1994-2014 Agence France-Presse
July 21, 2014
Artists Gilbert & George present their Scapegoating Pictures at White Cube in London
Minerva Gallery to offer a fine selection of museum-quality Tribal Art at auction on July 25
Exhibition of works from the Martijn and Jeannette Sanders Collection opens at the Stedelijk Museum
Artemis Gallery announces Ancient and Ethnographic Art, Tribal, Spanish Colonial Relics Sale
Archaeologists discover Roman 'free choice' cemetery in the 2,700-year-old ancient port of Rome
The first comprehensive survey in a half century of William Glackens opens at the Parrish Art Museum
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, presents first major retrospective of Jamie Wyeth
Artist Keith Sonnier's first solo exhibition at Tripoli Gallery opens in Southampton
RM Auctions to offer fastest machine ever to travel within Earth's atmosphere
Musée Fabre of Montpellier Agglomération opens Claude Viallat retrospective
Rare textiles complete groundbreaking exhibition at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg
Exhibition at Galeria Jaqueline Martins conceives mail art as a global movement among artists
Biennial of the Americas introduces Lauren Wright as Artistic Director and Curator
First major solo museum exhibition for Mark Tribe opens at the Corcoran Gallery of Art
Double exhibition of works by Julian Röder and Robert Capa opens at Kunsthalle Erfurt
Art Market Hamptons 2014 fourth year closes with celebration and excellent sales
'David Diao: Front to Back' opens at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
A new permanent public art work for the village of Bossuit, Belgium
'The Legacy of Nam June Paik in the Post-Digital Era' on view at Shin Gallery
James Nares' STREET on view at Joslyn Art Museum
'Game Changers: Fiber Art Masters and Innovators' on view at the Fuller Craft Museum
Benaki Museum exhibits new and radical developments in contemporary art
Most Popular Last Seven Days
1.- $37.7 million bowl sets Chinese ceramic auction record at Sotheby's Hong Kong
2.- Major new show at Picasso Museum focuses on pivotal year in Picasso's life and work
3.- 63 Dutch Masters return home to Holland for an exhibition at the Hermitage Amsterdam
4.- Exhibition reveals new insights into Renoir's celebrated "Luncheon of the Boating Party"
5.- Nazi-looted Pissarro painting at centre of legal tussle
6.- The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art presents 'Lines of Inquiry: Learning from Rembrandt's Etchings'
7.- Pristine Hermès Himalayan Gris Cendre Birkin bag sells for $112,500 at Heritage Auctions
8.- Tom Petty, heartland rocker with dark streak, dead at 66
9.- Exhibition presenting the art of Marcel Duchamp and Salvador Dalí opens in London
10.- Private collectors using online appraisal platform to get multiple estimates from top auction houses
Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .
|Royalville Communications, Inc|
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.