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Other discoveries in the Villa of August

 

The archaeologists of Japanese scientific mission, coordinated by professor Masanori Aoyagi of Tokyo, engaged by Soprintendenza Archeologica di Napoli started since 2001 excavations of a villa dated back to the I century b.C., in the area of Somma Vesuviana. The results are surprising!

 

During the excavations was found the eardrum of a great Basilica devoted to a god (still unidentified); infact, in the center of the architecture, in plaster, there is an embossed crown and a great peristyle with a colonnade. It’s high about seven meters, it has all the columns surmounted by Corinthian capitals, originated from a block of material brought from an African cave found by Settimio Severo in the II century A.D.. Besides, has been found the road in Vesuvians “basoli” that turned around the villa and the mosaic which adorned the place between the peristyle and the entry. The mosaic is white and black and dates back to the III century b.C..

A bust, probably the representation in marble of an athlete of two thousand years ago (according to the first hypotheses it would be the copy of an original of the IV century b.C.) maybe belongs to one of the statues that enriched niches of the portico of the Villa of August; it doesn’t have head and arms and it has broken legs above the knees. The statue was hidden under a heap of ground and almost to the center of the area inside the big portico. According to the experts, the marble would have been hurled from the niche to five meters from the violent shaken of an earthquake of volcanic origin. It destroyed the whole structure, buried from the ashes expelled from the Vesuvius during the eruption of Pollena, dated to the second half of the IV century A.D..

 

Other two pieces were founded, a peplofora (bearer of peplo, a characteristic mantle) whose dress preserve still traces of color amaranth, and a Dionysus in precious marble. The female figure maybe was embellished with earrings and with a diadem, through the use of fibulas on the marble, at the extremity of the suit and on the shoulders. Dionysus is an unique figure, because he has a pup of panther in his arms instead of having it, as usually found, near his legs.

 

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