Valley of the Temples: noble house with intact mosaic floors and Pompeian-style paintings discovered

Discovered in the Valley of the Temples Archaeological Park a house from the Hellenistic-Roman quarter with Pompeian-style wall paintings and intact mosaic flooring

In the Archaeological Park of the Valley of the Temples, a house with wall paintings and perfectly intact cocciopesto and mosaic flooring has been found in the Hellenistic-Roman Quarter. The discovery was made during the sixth excavation campaign of theUniversity of Bologna: a research project initiated in collaboration with the Archaeological Park under the direction of Giuseppe Lepore of the Department of Cultural Heritage at the Ravenna Campus. Since 2016, on a yearly basis, the University of Bologna team has dedicated itself to the investigation of an entire block (the third in the Quarter), with a focus on House III M. It was here that floors in an excellent state of preservation were discovered.

“This is a unique discovery,” said Lepore. "This house was renovated, along with the rest of the neighborhood, between the end of the 3rd and the beginning of the 2nd century B.C. and was equipped with a complex system of wall paintings and cocciopesto and mosaic floors, articulated even on two floors. Soon, however, perhaps as early as the early imperial age, the house collapsed (or was intentionally demolished), which resulted in its extraordinary state of preservation since the rubble ’protected’ the floor."

Covering about 400 square meters, the house consists of a monumental pastàs (a porticoed space) and three main rooms, all arranged on the north side, accessed directly from the porticoed space. It is in the central room that the cocciopesto floor with inserts of colored stones forming a meander decoration was found on the ground floor, and the numerous portions of the floor of the upper floor in polychrome mosaic with Pompeian-style wall paintings were saved precisely because of the collapse and rubble that completely occupied the room.

According to an initial analysis, the floors and wall paintings can be traced back to an early 1st-century B.C. makeover, and the rooms probably belonged to a noble class that featured statues, tapestry, tapestries, silverware, frescoed walls, and mosaic floors.

Excavations will resume next year, but in the meantime, the team coordinated by Giuseppe Lepore will continue to study and analyze the materials found and the recomposition of the wall paintings and mosaics. “The Hellenistic-Roman Quarter is to become a strong point of the new route we are setting up in the Archaeological Park, which will connect the Hill of the Temples directly with the upper terraces of the ancient city, which house the Quarter on one side and the ”Pietro Griffo“ archaeological museum on the other, as well as the area of public buildings in the central area, up to the Giacatello hypogeum,” said Roberto Sciarratta, director of the Valley of the Temples.

Ph.Credit Archaeological Park Valley of the Temples

Valley of the Temples: noble house with intact mosaic floors and Pompeian-style paintings discovered
Valley of the Temples: noble house with intact mosaic floors and Pompeian-style paintings discovered

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