Thursday, December 10, 2009

'Mini-Colosseum' Excavated in Rome

Since the 16th century, a “mini-Colosseum” has been hidden below Rome's Fiumicino airport in Portus, a harbor used in the second century. But not until the 1860’s was it seriously excavated by Rodolfo Lanciani. This 138 foot by 125 foot arena was believed to be used as a private venue by high status officials and possibly even emperors. Compared to the 50,00 people the Colosseum can hold, this mini arena can only hold up to 2,000. However, the purpose of it still remains unclear . Because it is shaped like an amphitheater, it’s suspected that it was used for a variety of events such as gladiator fights or the staging of mock sea trials. By the discovery of this arena, not only have archaeologists discovered that Portus was one of the most immense maritime foundations of the ancient world, but they also have come across luxuriously decorated rooms, a marble head that could possibly be of the Greek hero Ulysses, and also a column filled garden. Some people even believe that this discovery is so important that it should be ranked among the wonders of the world.

Clarisa Hernandez

Period 7

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