Monday, March 20, 2006

Roman villas

In the book I referred to in today's lecture, Bryan Ward-Perkins' The Fall of Rome, the author argues that the Romans at their height created a level of physical comfort not attained in many later centuries. Some of what Ward-Perkins says is controversial, but certainly the Romans knew a great deal about comfort.

One symbol of Roman comfort is the villa. One meaning of "villa" is a rural mansion which was the center of an extensive aristocratic estate. Such villas brought urban comfort into the countryside.

Using Google Images I found one particularly nice site, a Virtual Visit to Torre Llauder, a villa of the late 2nd or early 3rd century in Catalonia, Spain.

The picture above is a Roman villa in Norfolk, England, as seen by aerial photography. The complex was revealed by the contrast between crops growing on the old walls and those growing elsewhere. We owe much of our modern archaeological knowledge to quite recent technological advances such as this.

1 comment:

  1. Just recently two new meteor impact crators were found where a scientist predicted they would be. They were found using Google Earth. It's a fantastic tool.

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