L’Aquila Earthquake Damages Baths of Caracalla

In addition to the mounting death toll, we’re beginning to hear of damage to antiquities from the tragic earthquake at L’Aquila. The conclusion of a piece in the New York Times notes:

Officials in Rome said that the quake had also damaged the Baths of Caracalla, one of the most imposing ancient Roman ruins in the Italian capital, some 60 miles west of the epicenter of the quake, and there was significant damage reported in the villages around L’Aquila as well.

The Telegraph adds some details, inter alia:

The baths “suffered some damage,” Angelo Bottini said, adding that the results of an initial inspection had “not yet been precisely evaluated”.

The red-brick ruins, which cover some 11 hectares (27 acres) at the foot of Rome’s Aventine Hill, are the frequent site of opera productions and open-air concerts in the summer.

During Emperor Caracalla’s era, the bathing facilities could accommodate more than 1,600 people and included gymnasiums, libraries and gardens.

Bottini said no other historic sites in the city were damaged.

And a bit more from ANSA:

The Terme di Caracalla had suffered damage that still had to be quantified but the Forum and Colosseum were unscathed, Archeological Superintendent Angelo Bottini said. ”But we’ll have to wait until tomorrow to have a complete and detailed picture,” Bottini said.

We’ll be adding updates below as they become available…

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