Hidden history of Rome revealed under world's first cathedral

phys.org | 11/27/2018 | Staff
josh567 (Posted by) Level 3
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Supported throughout by the British School at Rome the team—drawn from Newcastle University, UK, the universities of Florence and Amsterdam and the Vatican Museums—have been able to bring the splendour of successive transformations of the ancient city to life.

The church, the Pope's own cathedral, was originally built in the 4th century AD by Constantine—the first Roman emperor to convert to Christianity. Positioned on the Caelian Hill, the church would have dominated the Roman skyline at the time.

Research - Reveals - Site - Use - Centuries

As research reveals, however, the site had already been in use for centuries. To build his magnificent cathedral, Constantine had swept away the Castra Nova (New Fort), the lavish headquarters of the imperial horseguard constructed over a century before by the Emperor Septimius Severus. In much the same way, Severus had previously destroyed the palatial houses of some of Rome's most powerful residents to make way for the horseguards' impressive new home.

This ongoing process of construction on the site meant that over hundreds of years layers of Roman history were laid down, much of it reflecting the changing fortunes and priorities of the Empire.

Streets - Rome - Team - Lateran - Project

Working far beneath the modern streets of Rome, the team on the Lateran Project have brought to life the first ever holistic picture of hundreds of years of Roman history by using digital mapping, ground penetrating radar and 3-D visualisation techniques.

Working with some of the world's leading visualisation specialists, the team has reconstructed the splendour of the buildings. It is one of the first projects in the world to have used terrestrial laser-scanning over such a large area to drive archaeological research.

Work - Study - Buildings - Site - Elements

The work has also permitted study of how the different buildings that occupied the site evolved, how different elements relate to one another and has given a sense of the scale the four-hectare site covers.

The work carried out by the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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