24 Jan 2020

The biggest basilica of Ostia

Ostia Basilica

The biggest basilica of Ostia (Rm).
A multidisciplinary team of researchers from the University of Aix-Marseille, the Cnrs and the Institut Géographique National, under the guidance of the coordinator Marcello Turci, is at work in the archaeological area of ​​Ostia Antica. In the sector just beyond the access to the sea, called Porta Marina, preliminary investigations are underway, conducted in collaboration with the Archaeological Park of Ostia Antica, which even before starting the excavations, have already allowed to identify a vast public complex still buried, with an area estimated at least 15 thousand square meters.

Thanks to data from filming with drones, and to three-dimensional photogrammetric reconstructions of the signals obtained with geophysical sensors, it was possible to discover the presence of a large civil basilica. "The identified structure has large open spaces, probably those of a monumental five-aisled basilica, with adjoining utility structures," says Marcello Turci.

It would therefore be the largest civil basilica in Ostia discovered so far, dating back to the end of the third century AD. Adds the director of the park, Mariarosaria Barbera: «In addition to taking stock of the topicality of the research in the Ostiense area, it is an opportunity to make the public aware of the non-invasive and preliminary investigation techniques for archaeological excavation, on a large architectural complex that in the past, without the help of technology, had been identified with a suburban villa ".

Arianna Antoniutti, da Il Giornale dell'Arte numero 404, gennaio 2020

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