The Limited Times

Now you can see non-English news...

Bears, dachshunds and coins, the sewers tell the story of the Colosseum

2022-11-25T11:08:56.808Z

The remains of the meals that were eaten in the stands, more often than not meat cooked at the moment on improvised braziers, together with some pizza and vegetables, a little fruit. (HANDLE)



The remains of the meals that were eaten in the stands, more often than not meat cooked at the moment on improvised braziers, together with some pizza and vegetables, a little fruit.

And then the bones of wild animals, bears, lions, leopards but also dogs, even dachshunds, all forced to fight each other in the arena or the object of hunting, the terrible venationes, which for so many centuries have entertained the Roman people , as much as gladiator fights.

The Parco del Colosseo presents to the city the first results of a research project on the hydraulic system and the sewers of the Flavian Amphitheater and what emerges is also a fascinating photograph of the whole context linked to the shows of two thousand years ago.

With the yellow of a splendid and worn golden coin,

an orichalcum sestertius minted under the emperor Marcus Aurelius which somehow ended up in the sewer along with about fifty poorer coins.

And the still unsolved mystery of the naumachie, the naval battles mentioned in the ancient sources when they tell of the fabulous hundred days of Ludi wanted by Tito to inaugurate the new theater - it was in 80 AD - who knows if they were really made by filling d 'water the huge arena or if instead they were just parodies of the bigger ones taking place elsewhere.

"It's too early to tell", explains Federica Rinaldi, the archaeologist in charge of the Colosseum who coordinated the research entrusted to the speleologists of Roma Sotterranea in a team with archaeobotanist archaeozoologists and the architect Fabio Fumagalli, "archeology is a slow discipline ,

now it will be necessary to systematize, integrating them, the archaeological data, even those conducted on the high walls of the hypogea, with the more specifically hydraulic ones.

Without neglecting the ancient sources, which from Martial through Suetonius and Cassius Dio, are never completely explicit".


    In fact, the initial objective of this entirely underground project, explains the director of the Archaeological Park Alfonsina Russo, was to better understand the functioning of the ancient sewers and the hydraulics of the Amphitheater.

To broaden historical knowledge, of course, but not only.

Because there is a practical problem to be solved that has been dragging on since time immemorial, that of flooding the basements, increasingly frequent and problematic now that the climate has changed and even Rome is bombarded by storms that resemble water bombs from the monsoons.

A problem, as noted by Barbara Nazzaro, the monument's technical manager, who has been engaging archaeologists, engineers and plumbing experts for at least two centuries.

In short, hope

is that the discoveries coming from these investigations can help find the way to solve the worry of flooding, perhaps starting from the restoration of a part of the ancient sewers.

Which was what the great 19th century engineers would have liked to do but failed to do.

Begun in January 2022 and concluded in August - as specified by Martina Almonte, sole responsible for the procedure (Rup) - the investigation mainly concerned the southern manifold of the amphitheater in this phase, which was blocked and out of use more or less since 523 AD , when the Colosseum stopped being an amphitheater to then be used in the most diverse ways, turning into a sort of condominium and then into a fortress, housing a hospital and even a spinning mill with its workers.

perhaps starting from the restoration of a part of the ancient sewers.

Which was what the great engineers of the 19th century would have liked to do, but failed to do.

Begun in January 2022 and concluded in August - as specified by Martina Almonte, sole responsible for the procedure (Rup) - the investigation mainly concerned the southern manifold of the amphitheater in this phase, which was blocked and out of use more or less since 523 AD , when the Colosseum stopped being an amphitheater to then be used in the most diverse ways, turning into a sort of condominium and then into a fortress, housing a hospital and even a spinning mill with its workers.

perhaps starting from the restoration of a part of the ancient sewers.

Which was what the great engineers of the 19th century would have liked to do, but failed to do.

Begun in January 2022 and concluded in August - as specified by Martina Almonte, sole responsible for the procedure (Rup) - the investigation mainly concerned the southern manifold of the amphitheater in this phase, which was blocked and out of use more or less since 523 AD , when the Colosseum stopped being an amphitheater to then be used in the most diverse ways, turning into a sort of condominium and then into a fortress, housing a hospital and even a spinning mill with its workers.


    While the marvelous marbles that covered it went on to embellish the great Renaissance and Baroque palaces and many of the huge blocks of travertine were used to build something else, from Palazzo della Cancelleria to Palazzo Farnese.

Buried under the earth that accumulated mixing with the rubble, the ancient conduits were effectively forgotten.

And it is for this reason that all the things that had ended up in that sewer, especially in the last one, around the sixth century, have remained intact, 'frozen' for centuries in that conduit where the water no longer flowed.

Like the shiny sestertius of Marcus Aurelius, which the archaeologist Francesca Ceci, an expert in numismatics, has studied for a long time.

Marcus Aurelius reigned between 160 and 180 AD The sestertius was issued in 170-171 to celebrate the decennial of the

philosopher emperor who renewed his vows to ask the gods for another ten years of happy reign.

Basically a propaganda tool, deliberately minted in orichalcum because it was supposed to amaze with its brilliance, especially since it was normal for an emperor to ingratiate himself with the people by distributing money right during the games.

Here then it would explain how that gold-colored sestertius has come down to us: "Flying with the imagination - the archaeologist hypothesizes - we can imagine the shiny coins thrown into the crowd, and one of these, ours, fallen into the sand of the arena and then swept away along with the blood of men and animals".

Only a hypothesis, of course, but suggestive, that of the flight of a small coin from the crowd to the sewer.

To tell us, more than 1500 years later,


Source: ansa

All life articles on 2022-11-25

You may like

Trends 24h

Life/Entertain 2023-02-06T06:37:49.546Z

Latest

© Communities 2019 - Privacy