Wednesday, February 8, 2017


Opened in 1967 with pieces from the fourth to the tenth century AD describing the history of the settlements in the regions of central Italy
Room One
Finds of ancient Rome from the fourth to the sixth century which illustrate aspects of daily life and traditions
Rooms Two and Three
Objects from the Lombard necropolis of Nocera Umbra (Perugia) consisting of 166 graves and Castel Trosino (Ascoli Piceno) with 237 tombs
In the female burials brooches, necklaces, earrings, amulets and objects of daily use have been found while in the graves of the men there were shields, spears, arrows, helmets, armor and accessories for riding
In 568 the Lombard king Alboin invaded the whole of northern Italy, Tuscany, the territories of Spoleto and Benevento
Rooms Four and Five
Carolingian Age (eighth and ninth century) with marble and ceramics decorated with early Christian motifs or simple patterns
“External marble part of a well” ninth century from Porto
“Relief with Alexander the Great raised up to heaven in a chariot drawn by griffins” tenth or eleventh century
Room Six
Materials from the Domusculta of S. Cornelia at Veii built on the site of a Roman villa
The domuscultae were some kind of of large farms common in papal territories during the eighth through the tenth century
Room Seven
Finds from the site of the Episcopal see of S. Rufina on the Via Cornelia (Via Boccea) where was the martyrdom of Sts. Rufina and Second
Here excavations have revealed a continuous occupation of the site, with the remains of a Roman agricultural center, an area Christian cemetery and a medieval settlement from which the “Mosaic floor” comes
Room Eight
Collection of Coptic textiles and reliefs with 74 pieces dating from the fifth to the tenth century
Opus Sectile of Porta Marina
About 383/388
Unique example of decoration in opus sectile or inlaid marble, exposed here since 2006 almost fully recovered and dated with precision, thanks to the lucky discovery of a bronze coin in the mortar bed of one of the panels with a lion bearing the name of Magnus Maximus (383/388) usurper of Gaul, Britain and Spain during the reign of Valentinian II (375/392) in the west and Theodosius I (379/395) in the East
The extraordinary decoration with colored marbles adorned the ceremonial room of a monumental Domus outside Porta Marina in Ostia
The excavation was done in 1959 and, until 1966, the first restoration was carried out. Then the panels were placed in storage, and in 1999 the old restoration was completed
The large hall with a quadrangular apse on the far wall is completely covered with polychrome marbles with geometric patterns, floral friezes and groups of animals fighting
Large floor in opus sectile with precious marbles (ancient yellow, serpentine, red porphyry and pavonazzetto), decorated with stars, octagons and circles combined with great elegance
In contrast, the exedra of the far wall is completely covered by a geometric decoration still in opus sectile with small checkerboard patterns below and fake architectural perspective in the upper part
The ceiling is shown next to the room and is recovered only in small part due to the collapse of the building. The building site must have stopped suddenly, so that the mosaic floor was not yet put in place

On the right male figure, which could be identified with Christ, because of the halo and the hand raised in blessing, but in the whole of Greece and Asia Minor images of characters referred to as “sacred, inspired” were discovered i.e. philosophers

These kind of characters, at a time when there was a large demand for spirituality, had the hallmark of the halo. So, there isn't a context to say with precision whether this is a Christian or pagan figure

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