Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Ostia Antica

The less touristy version of Pompeii. . . it was the port city of ancient Rome until the Tiber changed courses and the actual port disappeared.  Then the city was gradually covered over by swamp muck.  Not nearly as exciting an end as death-by-volcanoe.  I guess it had a population of about a million people, which is pretty amazing for ancient times!  Also, I downloaded Rick Steve's tour, so I was set to go!

Outside the walls of the city was the graveyard, where there are tons of family tomb type things. . . the ashes of individuals would be placed in urns in the little alcoves along the walls.  And there are little mini altars for living relatives to leave offerings, I guess.

Wheel ruts left by ancinent Roman carts!

Just inside the gate, a huge watering trough for the animals:

And some warehouses:

Then a midevial well dug by people who lived here in the middle ages:

Then some baths with amazing mosaic floors!

After that, on to the theater, where they were setting up for a show!

First, though, a fragment of the original decorations:

The women had to sit near the top (the bad seats), while the men sat near the bottom (the good seats).  The first three rows of marble were reserved for the upper class people, like judges, and governors, and such.

Behind the Theater was a temple and around that were the offices of businessmen.  You can still see the mosaic floors advertising what they were selling!

The Temple in the middle:

A ruined statue of a prominent Ostia businessman.  The whole square around the temple was decorated with lots of these. . .

A sacraficial altar next to the square.  Not the original one, that's in a museum in Rome, this is just a reproduction. . .

Next, on to the mill!

These things were huge!

They would put wooden posts in the square holes on the top part and walk around and around, turning the top part to grind the grain between the top and the bottom, until the floury stuff fell out at the bottom!

Next I was supposed to go to a house and a tavern, but I don't think I ever quite found them, so I skipped ahead to the Forum!

After that, to the Forum baths. . .

Hallow bricks that would have been filled with steam for radiant heat!

Across the street from the baths were public restrooms. . .

The round hole on the front was for a sponge to wipe with. . . the groove in the ground right around the base was for running water to keep things clean. . .

Some other random picturs from Ostia Antica. . .

I spent the rest of the day at the beach with the other girls, but I'll tell you all about that later!  Ciao!

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