Italian Press: Roman Pavement from Rieti

The gist: Roman mosaics and a piece of wall dating from the Republican period (2nd/1st century A.D.) beneath some former police barracks … From Oggi Notizie:

Un mosaico romano, una parte di muro ed un pavimento musivo di epoca romana: questa l’importante scoperta archeologica annunciata ieri dal presidente della Provincia di Rieti, Fabio Melilli, durante un sopralluogo nel cantiere della ex caserma del comando provinciale dei carabinieri di Rieti.

Durante i lavori di ristrutturazione e miglioramento sismico dell’edificio di via Cintia, sotto la supervisione della Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici del Lazio, sono state rinvenute numerose strutture murarie relative a differenti epoche storiche. Si tratta di un mosaico romano, inquadrabile in eta’ repubblicana (II-I sec. a.C.), tornato alla luce dalle fondamenta di un’ala di Palazzo Aluffi. Scavando e’ stata individuata anche una muratura, risalente al periodo sei-settecentesco, e un pavimento musivo di eta’ romana.

“Si tratta di due mosaici di due diverse fasi – ha spiegato il soprintendente Giovanna Alvino, presente al sopralluogo – ma entrambi di eta’ repubblicana. Particolarmente interessante quello con il disegno geometrico, perch‚ non molto diffuso. Ora bisognerà vedere come conciliare le esigenze espositive con quelle dell’utilizzo della struttura – ha concluso l’esperta della Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici del Lazio – ma quello che conta e’ che ci sia la volonta’ della Provincia di proseguire quest’opera di recupero importantissima”.

… no photos alas …

Possible Bar Kochba Hoard II: A Question

Looking at the photos again, here’s a ring (click for a larger version):

via the IAA

… can anyone figure out who/what this is portraying?

Addendum (an hour or so later) … in addition to the comments attached to the photo itself, check out #169 on this page, which seems to be an identical ring or at least very close to it. According to the description there (which has a comparative scholarly citation), the image is of Minerva holding Victoria, with a shield behind her back. If it is the identical figure, one must wonder why someone supposedly involved in the Bar Kochba revolt would have a clearly pagan ring.

Possible Bar Kochba Revolt Hoard Found

Here’s the IAA press release:

A Spectacular 2,000 Year Old Gold and Silver Hoard was Uncovered in an Archaeological Excavation the Israel Antiquities Authority Conducted in the Qiryat Gat Region

The treasure trove comprising c. 140 gold and silver coins together with gold jewelry was probably hidden by a wealthy lady at a time of impending danger during the Bar Kokhba Revolt

A rich and extraordinary hoard that includes jewelry and silver and gold coins from the Roman period was recently exposed in a salvage excavation in the vicinity of Qiryat Gat. The excavation, undertaken on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, was funded by Y. S. Gat Ltd., the Economic Development Corporation for the Management of the Qiryat Gat Industrial Park.

The rooms of a building dating to the Roman and Byzantine period were exposed during the course of the excavation. A pit that was dug in the earth and refilled was discerned in the building’s courtyard. To the archaeologist’s surprise, a spectacular treasure trove of exquisite quality was discovered in the pit wrapped in a cloth fabric, of which only several pieces remained on the artifacts.

According to archaeologist, Emil Aladjem, the excavation director on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority, “The magnificent hoard includes gold jewelry, among them an earring crafted by a jeweler in the shape of a flower and a ring with a precious stone on which there is a seal of a winged-goddess, two sticks of silver that were probably kohl sticks, as well as some 140 gold and silver coins. The coins that were discovered date to the reigns of the Roman emperors Nero, Nerva and Trajan who ruled the Roman Empire from 54-117 CE. The coins are adorned with the images of the emperors and on their reverse are cultic portrayals of the emperor, symbols of the brotherhood of warriors and mythological gods such as Jupiter seated on a throne or Jupiter grasping a lightning bolt in his hand”.

Saʽar Ganor, District Archaeologist of Ashkelon and the Western Negev for the Israel Antiquities Authority, adds “the composition of the numismatic artifacts and their quality are consistent with treasure troves that were previously attributed to the time of the Bar Kokhba Revolt. During the uprising, between 132-135 CE, the Jews under Roman rule would re-strike coins of the emperor Trajan with symbols of the revolt. This hoard includes silver and gold coins of different denominations, most of which date to the reign of the emperor Trajan. This is probably an emergency cache that was concealed at the time of impending danger by a wealthy woman who wrapped her jewelry and money in a cloth and hid them deep in the ground prior to or during the Bar Kokhba Revolt. It is now clear that the owner of the hoard never returned to claim it.

The treasure trove was removed from the field and transferred for treatment to the laboratories of the Artifacts Treatment Department of the Israel Antiquities Authority in Jerusalem.

Here’s some photos of the hoard via the IAA

Sharon Gal via the IAA
Sharon Gal via the IAA


I can’t see any evidence of any Trajanic restrikes in the artfully arranged photos, alas (although there is a really nice portrait of Trajan in there, and a Jupiter Custos, which probably has the aforementioned portrait of Nero on the other side) nor do I see any specifically Bar Kochba coins.  Until we do have something a bit more specific along those lines, I suspect we’re tying this hoard to Bar Kochba for press purposes …

More coverage:

Classical Words of the Day