They discover an ancient pavilion in a luxurious Roman villa submerged in the sea

In 2021, the town of Campo di Mare, in Cerveteri, northern Italy, was the scene of the discovery of an Ionic marble column cipollino that archaeologists from the Underwater Archeology Service of the Archaeological Superintendency of Fine Arts and Landscape of Southern Etruria, in collaboration with the company CSR Restauro Beni Culturali, would have related to a circular structure about 50 meters in diameter which is located underwater, a few meters from the coast, and which has been recently discovered.

Part of the walls of the structure discovered underwater and recently studied.

Part of the walls of the structure discovered underwater and recently studied.

Soprintendenza Archeologia Belle Arti Paesaggio Etruria Meridionale

According to archaeologists, the submerged structure would have been a pavilion that would have been part of a Roman villa whose extension and complexity have yet to be determined. Archaeological excavations have managed to identify a double belt of brick walls built with triangular paving stones, mortar and pebbles.

These walls would have been separated from each other by about three meters and would have been founded on a layer of clay, which would have allowed the conservation of the wooden formwork and foundation posts.

variety of construction techniques

In a statement, the Superintendency details the difficult conditions in which the underwater archaeologists have had to work, which has not prevented them from documenting in detail the structure, which still retains its coating of opus signinuma material that was mainly used to waterproof surfaces due to their resistance to humidity, and some floors in opus spicatum (herringbone, a form of construction named for the shape it took).

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Soprintendenza Archeologia Belle Arti Paesaggio Etruria Meridionale

Although the structure has not yet been dated, archaeologists believe it may have been Built between the 1st centuries BC and 2nd centuries AD, coinciding with the boom stage in the use of opus signinum and its subsequent fall into disuse.

The difficult conditions in which archaeologists have had to work have not prevented them from documenting the structure in detail.

In the center of the structure, Archaeologists have also found fragments of pavement in opus sectile (a construction method that used marble), which would confirm that the villa would have been owned by a wealthy person.

Researchers also speculate that all the elements that make up this pavilion would be just a very representative part of this luxurious Roman villa built near the ancient route of the Via Aurelia. But who was its lucky owner remains a mystery.

 
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