The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Sunday, July 21, 2019


Archaeologists uncover 'little Pompeii' in southeast France
Archaeologists work on a mosaic on July 31, 2017, on the archaeological antiquity site of Sainte-Colombe, near Vienne, eastern France. Remains of an entire neighbourhood of the Roman city of Vienne have been uncovered in Sainte-Colombe, with lavish residences decorated with mosaics, a philosophy school and shops. The dig of the site, discovered prior to housing construction on a parcel of 5000 m2, began in April 2017 and was due to last six months, but have been extended to December 15, 2017, after the site was classified as an "exceptional discovery" by the French Culture Minsitry. JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK / AFP.

by Myriam Chaplain Riou


SAINTE-COLOMBE (AFP).- A "little Pompeii" is how French archaeologists are describing an entire ancient Roman neighbourhood uncovered on the outskirts of the southeastern city of Vienne, featuring remarkably preserved remains of luxury homes and public buildings.

"We're unbelievably lucky. This is undoubtedly the most exceptional excavation of a Roman site in 40 or 50 years," said Benjamin Clement, the archaeologist leading the dig on the banks of the Rhone river, about 30 kilometres (18 miles) south of Lyon.

The city of Vienne -- famous for its Roman theatre and temple -- was an important hub on the route connecting northern Gaul with the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis in southern France.

The site unearthed on land awaiting construction of a housing complex covers an area of nearly 7,000 square metres (75,000 square feet) -- an unusually large discovery in an urban area that has been labelled an "exceptional find" by the French culture ministry.

The neighbourhood, which contains homes dating to the 1st century AD, is believed to have been inhabited for around 300 years before being abandoned after a series of fires.

Many of the objects in place when the inhabitants fled were conserved, transforming the area into a "real little Pompeii in Vienne", according to Clement, referring to the Roman city-state that was largely preserved after being buried by volcanic ash.

Among the structures to have partly survived are an imposing home dubbed the Bacchanalian House after a tiled floor depicting a procession of maenads (female followers of the god of wine, known variably as Dionysus or Bacchus) and joyful half-man, half-goat creatures known as satyrs.

A blaze consumed the first floor, roof and balcony of the sumptuous home, which boasted balustrades, marble tiling, expansive gardens and a water supply system, but parts of the collapsed structure survived.

The archaeologists believe the house belonged to a wealthy merchant.

"We will be able to restore this house from the floor to the ceiling," Clement said.

Philosophy school
In another house, an exquisite mosaic depicts a bare-bottomed Thalia, muse and patron of comedy, being kidnapped by a lustful Pan, god of the satyrs.

The mosaics are being removed with infinite care and taken away to be restored, with a view to being exhibited in Vienne's museum of Gallo-Roman civilisation in 2019.

Among the other finds are a large public building with a fountain adorned by a statue of Hercules, built at the site of a former market.

Clement believes it may have housed a philosophy school.

The excavations, which began in April, had been due to end in mid-September but have been extended by the French state until the end of the year to allow time for more discoveries.

In the coming months Clement's 20-strong team will dig down to older parts of the site and explore an area containing workshops.


© Agence France-Presse





Today's News

August 2, 2017

Nearly two-metre-tall ancient statue unearthed at Cambodia's Angkor complex

Gold replica of US space module pinched from Ohio museum

Milwaukee Art Museum celebrates 150th anniversary of Frank Lloyd Wright's birthday with exhibition

Archaeologists uncover 'little Pompeii' in southeast France

Museum showcases stunning Japanese kimono and Obi with new Google Arts & Culture online exhibition

Paddle8 announces Marilyn Monroe auction

Canton Museum of Art celebrates a major football-themed art exhibit

Exhibition and book to bring together the covers of every counterculture publication from the 1960s

From Auguste Rodin to Ai Weiwei, new book reveals the history, magic, and omnipresence of casting

National Gallery of Canada's exhibition spaces transformed by Studio Adrien Gardère

Larger than life sculpture by Dame Elizabeth Frink joins gallery's collection

Tribal Art London fair announces highlights from its 2017 edition

Laumeier Sculpture Park acquires Tony Tasset's Deer, 2015, in honor of 40th anniversary year

The Perot Museum of Nature of Science unveils its exhibition lineup for 2017-2018

Public art program commissions major work by José Parlá

Rubin Museum extends Henri Cartier Bresson exhibition due to popular demand

The Frick to publish new series of books: Frick Diptychs

Important collection of Cowboy and Native American items will come up for bid in Ann Arbor

Chana Budgazad Sheldon joins ProjectArt

National Museum of Australia announces appointment of three new Council members

Legendary bike to be on display at the next H&H Classics bike sale

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Original 'Star Wars' creators lift lid on special effects challenges

2.- Lost '$170 million Caravaggio' snapped up before French auction

3.- Mansell's 'Red Five' on pole for Bonhams sale

4.- Impressionism's 'forgotten woman' shines in new Paris show

5.- Sotheby's to auction the best-surviving NASA videotape recordings of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing

6.- Exhibition explores Dutch and Spanish painting of the 16th and 17th centuries

7.- Cyprus discovers 'first undisturbed Roman shipwreck'

8.- Sotheby's unveils 'Treasures from Chatsworth' with Leonardo Da Vinci drawing, Lucian Freud portraits, and more

9.- Infamous botched art restoration in Spain gets makeover

10.- 1958 Gibson Flying V Korina played by Dave Davies to grab center stage in Heritage Auctions' sale



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, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher:Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez


Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org avemariasound.org juncodelavega.com facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
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 *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful