Friday, 22 January 2016

Dear Ancestors....

Your tombstone stands among the rest;
neglected and alone
The name and date are chiseled out
on polished, marbled stone
It reaches out to all who care
It is too late to mourn
You did not know that I'd exist
You died and I was born.
Yet each of us are cells of you
in flesh, in blood, in bone.
Our blood contracts and beats a pulse
entirely not our own.
Dear Ancestor, the place you filled
one hundred years ago
Spreads out among the ones you left
who would have loved you so.
I wonder if you lived and loved,
I wonder if you knew
That someday I would find this spot,
and come to visit you." 
 -- Dear Ancestor by Walter Butler Palmer

Today we walked among ancient ruins.  The city existed long before the birth of Christ and was one of the most important cities for the early Romans.  To be able to walk through the ancient cemetery, see how cults and early Christians co-existed in harmony as well as the construction of aqua ducts to funnel water through the city was a phenomenal experience.  The wonder of realizing just how long ago people walked in this exact same spot, worked, built the structures and columns that are still in existence is pretty awesome.  It is far off the tourist map and a treasure that is approximately an hour away by train.  This area is well preserved, a place for students of archeology to come and study or for the odd tourist to make their way to.  We were quite taken with the thought of how many people had walked over the very same stone roads that we travelled on today and how many centuries had passed since the inception of Ostia Antica and its early inhabitants roamed these same paths.
It is a very peaceful place to wander through and with the exception of some workers and about six other people we had the place to ourselves to explore.

Ostia Antica is a large archeological site, close to the modern suburb of Ostia, that was the location of the harbour city of ancient Rome. At the mouth of the River Tiber, Ostia was Rome's seaport, but due to silting the site now lies 3 kilometres (2 miles) from the sea. The site is noted for the excellent preservation of its ancient buildings, magnificent frescoes and impressive mosaics.

Some of the antiquities in evidence

Niches of the ancient columbariums 

ruins in the graveyard

Remnants of  the statue

Wall marking a section of the ancient city

winged victory

the ancient many feet have traveled this path?

Sample of the columns that remain

part of the walls

The view of the city outline

Some of the mosaics that have been unearthed

A good view of how the city was laid out

No description was given for this relic

Section of the wall believed to have been built by Hadrian

The Theatre floor

The Market square

A lovely shot of the theatre from the top stand

Anthony Payne flew in from Oxford University to spend a few days with us!

Here we are with the Theatre stands and market place in the background

The Curia -- where the town council met!

Remants of the Christian Cathedral this would have been one of the three chapels
Believed to be built by Constantine

A fountain near where a cult met

Gate to the city

The Baths

Mosaic which had tributes to athletes

A fountain

Perfect end to a lot of walking a local brew

Here comes the train for the return trip!

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