ROME â Six amazing great marble sculptures of the third century AD, perhaps from the villa of a high-ranking official of the imperial era, were found this morning in Rome, during the archaeological survey prior to completion of the Building Zone Plan “Anagnina 1” in X town hall. “An extraordinary discovery – said the cultural heritage under-secretary Francesco Giro – a discovery that promises to shed new light on the settlements in the suburbs of the imperial age.” âIt shows that among other things,â the under-secretary added, â the importance of protection of the archaeological surveys conducted in the territory of the City with the utmost professionalism and punctuality by the technicians of the Superintendence for Cultural Heritage of Rome.â
Into a tub of a Roman villa, archaeologists, led by Robert Egidi, found a portrait on a bust and two portraits of male heads of the imperial family of the Severi, a portrait of a woman of the same family of Severi, and a contemporary portrait of a little girl, a statue probably of Zeus represented naked and life size. Among the recoveries also a larger than life archaic herm. All the pieces found, explained the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, will enrich the heritage of the National Roman Museum and will be stored in the Baths of Diocletian, where the first conservation work will immediately start. A finding, notes the ministry, which for “the quantity, technical and stylistic character and quality of materials is without doubt one of the most important discoveries in recent times occurred in the suburbs of the capital.” And that is part of an archaeological context “which previously returned more valuable sculptures such as a fine terracotta male head of the Hellenistic style, larger than life, a portrait of the male end of the first century BC and a marble relief, re-used in walls, depicting a Gaul of a type well-known iconographic reliefs parchment. ” Given the current state of research, it is difficult at the moment, stress engineers, defining “the original location and destination of the sculptures, only explicable by hypothesis to the apartment complex that holds them and which shows successive building phases of which the most recent dated to the third century AD “.
The presence of portraits attributable, at first glance, to the members of the dynasty, they add, “suggests that the last owner of the house may have been a high-ranking official linked to the imperial family. The existence of a late-imperial mausoleum adjacent to the plant strengthens this hypothesis because the norm was, frequently documented from second to third century AD, to bury the owner near his home. “