Saturday, 6 September 2014

Saturday Photo: When the Uncovered Past Does Not Linger

As I've mentioned here before, one of the summer's highlights was our trip to the Roman town of Coninbriga, not far from Coimbra in Portugal.  The site was a going concern for more than 300 years, until Visigoths moved in on the Roman outpost in the 4th century BCE.

Afterwards the location on a well-watered plateau was farmed, while the old town faded from collective memory.  Some of the ruins were pillaged for building materials after Napoleon's forces razed a nearby town, but it wasn't until the 1930s when the possibility of rediscovering a gem from Roman times spurred excavation.

Now about 10 per cent of the former town has been excavated, with astounding results. Among the finds are mosaics as fresh as the day they were finished from the floors of houses which must have been home to the wealthier residents.  Several thermes, or Roman bathhouses have been found as well large houses with elegant interior patios and a large, pillar-lined public space, the Forum. 

But time marches on.  Dirt is blown by wind, grass seeds sprout, weeds grow up.  Unless maintenance is constant, the forces of the earth conspire to hide the ruins once again, as attests the photo of the partially uncovered wall which  now has several decades of weeds growing on it.

Nothing is permanent, in other words...

1 comment:

Jack said...

Wondrous how such things are uncovered after being hidden from the soil. They greet the sun again, and suffer from that and the air. But we get to see them for a little while.