Excavating in Rome, what becomes the foroimperiali
Lavinium, 13 altars, 6th-4thcenturies; a port city in Latium, on coast halfway between ostia and anzio. One of these alters was to the dioscouri. Note soft tufa.
Fregella, roman town on Liri river. Sanctuary site w/ votives like this foot
Forum transitorium, temple of minerva, in 1535, before demolished by Paul V in 1606
Antoninus and faustina, roman forum
Decumanusmaximus, public fountain w reflief of supposed head of hercules, herculaneum
Road up up to sanctuary at Cumae, viadomitiana
M nonniusbalbus on a horse
Amazonian, painted head, recently excavated from the herculaneum basilica
Inscription, herculaneum, citizens
Two bronze runners from the villa of the papyri, herculaneum
Detail from the fresco of achilles and chiron, the centaur from augusteum in herculaneum
Detail of arcadia in the hercules and telephus fresco from the augusteum, herculaneum
Nola gate, pompeii
Art and architecture
An Awful Lot Mostly About Walls and Bricks.
Thanks to Sophie Hay, award-winning photographer and archaeologist for many (if
not most) of the photographs.
Know your walls.
• Opus Quadratum – dressed ashlar masonry
– By 2nd c BC Tufa blocks standardized 2x2x4 rm ft;
travertine follows natural bedrock, so not
• Opus Incertum – 6-10cm across
lumps, irregularly shaped, roughly smoothed
one side to form flat outer surface. Ca 2-1 c
• Opus Reticulatum – pyramid shaped nodules 6-12
cm sq, by 8-14 cm deep, point stuck in
concrete, base forms outer facing. Quoining done
in square blocks. Mid 1st c BC – late 1st c AD
• Opus Mixtum – horizontal bands 1 – 3 courses of
brick, at intervals, and brick replacing tufa blocks
for edging – Mid 1st c AD; during 2 c reticulate
gradually phased out in favour of fully brick, or
• Brick – isoceles triangles, point in, flat base out.
Width of mortar courses can sometimes be used
as diagnostic for dating, but iffy.
• Opus vittatum / opera listata – block and
brickwork. Alternate one or two courses of
brick, one or two courses of small tufa blacks.
Blocks are rectangular on outer face, but taper to
the rear. Starts in 2nd c AD, very popular by 4th c
• Opus Africanum – vertical blocks of ashlar
masonry , with horizontal fill.
• Opus spicatum – brick or other material laid in
a herringbone pattern – floors.
• Only marble, travertine, and peperino
regularly left in natural state; everything else
was covered with stucco.
• Sometimes painted (red, black, yellow);
sometimes moulded decorations
incorporated, including imitation ashlar
• Painted terracotta panels and friezes also