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Macellum,Temple of Serapis-Pozzuoli,Italy

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Macellum,Temple of Serapis-Pozzuoli,Italy

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Date Posted:November 7th, 2005
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Description: During the excavations, which were begun in 1750, a statue of the Egyptian god Serapis was found and therefore the edifice was mistakenly held to be a temple. It is, however, nothing else but the "macellum" or the city market annexed to the port area (I-II c. A.D.). the three columns of grey cipolin bear evident traces of the holes made by lithodomi (marine mollusc) and show the effects of bradyseism (slow upward and downward movement of the earth's crust). The Macellum in enclosed in a rectangular area with a porticoed court and a row of "tabernae" (shops) down each side. In the middleof the court rises a "tholos", a kind of circular temple whose entablature was supported by sixteen columns. There is a sort of apse in the end wall preceded by four massive columns, of which three are still erect and one lies on the ground. The magnificience of the building can be seen in the marble revetments of the central court as well as of the two larger rooms at each end of the apse, which were public lavatories.


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