(ANSAmed) - ROME, 02 FEB - A spear, helmet, proud profile -
after hundreds of years a refined artifact of ancient Rome
representing the personification of the Eternal City has come to
light from excavation work for the Metro C subway line.
The iconographic theme is already well-known, but it is the first and only representation found so far on golden glass.
"Golden glass is already a very rare finding, but this has no comparison" according to preliminary findings, Simona Morretta, archaeologist of the special superintendency of Rome, explained to ANSA.
"No golden glass with the personification of the city of Rome had ever been found before".
The expert said its execution is "extraordinarily refined".
Originally, it was at the bottom of a cup, "a particular object that was often used as a gift".
The person using the cup could in this way look at the image at the bottom while drinking.
"We don't know whether it was really used to contain something or as a decorative object, but certainly putting an image at the bottom reflects that idea".
The artifact experienced different lives before: "It was a precious object - she went on to explain - and it wasn't thrown away after it broke or got damaged. But given that a glass cup could not be repaired, the bottom was 'cut off' and perhaps it was exhibited on furniture or hung on a wall".
The finding did not belong to the military facility found during the excavation, which was abandoned in the middle of the third century, and subsequently 'razed', the walls cut and debris thrown inside to be covered by earth.
The piece of glass emerged under layers of earth and has a later date.
"From an initial study, it looks like the artifact is from the start of the fourth century", added the archaeologist.
It will now have another life and will be showcased in a "display case in the station-museum of the Porta Metronia subway", she concluded. (ANSAmed).
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