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Fun and games in Ostia

We have watched the reports of the Ostia Graffiti Project in recent weeks as its members post photos of some of the graffiti that they are recording. One item that we did not see was a graffito that appears to be a game board etched into the porch step of an ancient building on the west side of the city. …

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The Four Seasons Mosaic from Palazzo Imperiale at Ostia Antica

One does not usually think of recycling when ancient Rome comes to mind. Nevertheless, we have noticed in the research for our series of guidebooks to archeological sites in Rome how frequently new structures were built with re-used materials. This use of spolia is especially prominent in the fourth century AD when Emperor Constantine sponsored the construction of new Christian …

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The Mystery of the Faux Bois Lintels

Faux Bois Lintels of the Caseggiato delle Taberne Finestrate at Ostia Antica The first time that we visited Ostia Antica several years ago, we had no idea of what to expect. Visiting the ruins of ancient Rome to write a series of walking guides to archeological sites in the Eternal City was the primary reason for our trip, but on …

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The historical salt works of the coastal plain of Rome

The coastal plain of Rome is characterized by two wide depressions that were occupied originally by ponds, the Stagno di Maccarese and the Stagno Ostiensis, separated by the Tiber river (figure 1). Historical salt works have been established in each of the marshes. The salt works of Ostia The Roman age salt works of the Stagno Ostiensis have not been …