An amphora is a type of container of a characteristic shape and size, descending from at least as early as the Neolithic Period. Amphorae were used in vast numbers for the transport and storage of various products, both liquid and dry, but for wine, they are most ceramic, but examples in metals and other materials have been found. Versions of the amphorae were one of many shapes used in Ancient Greek vase painting; the amphora complements the large storage container, the pithos, which makes available capacities between one-half and two and one-half tons. In contrast, the amphora holds under a half-ton less than 50 kilograms; the bodies of the two types have similar shapes. Where the pithos may have multiple small loops or lugs for fastening a rope harness, the amphora has two expansive handles joining the shoulder of the body and a long neck; the necks of pithoi are wide for bucket access. The necks of amphorae are narrow for pouring by a person holding it by a handle; some variants exist. The handles might not be present.
The size may require three handlers to lift. For the most part, however, an amphora was tableware, or sat close to the table, was intended to be seen, was finely decorated as such by master painters. Stoppers of perishable materials, which have survived, were used to seal the contents. Two principal types of amphorae existed: the neck amphora, in which the neck and body meet at a sharp angle. Neck amphorae were used in the early history of ancient Greece, but were replaced by the one-piece type from around the 7th century BC onward. Most were produced with a pointed base to allow upright storage by embedding in soft ground, such as sand; the base facilitated transport by ship, where the amphorae were packed upright or on their sides in as many as five staggered layers. If upright, the bases were held by some sort of rack, ropes passed through their handles to prevent shifting or toppling during rough seas. Heather and reeds might be used as packing around the vases. Racks could be used in shops.
The base concentrated deposits from liquids with suspended solid particles, such as olive oil and wines. Amphorae are of great use to maritime archaeologists, as they indicate the age of a shipwreck and the geographic origin of the cargo, they are so well preserved that the original content is still present, providing information on foodstuffs and mercantile systems. Amphorae were too cheap and plentiful to return to their origin-point and so, when empty, they were broken up at their destination. At a breakage site in Rome, close to the Tiber, the fragments wetted with Calcium hydroxide, remained to create a hill now named Monte Testaccio, 45 m high and more than 1 kilometre in circumference. Amphora is a Greco-Roman word developed in ancient Greek during the Bronze Age; the Romans acquired it during the Hellenization. Cato is the first known literary person to use it; the Romans turned the Greek form into a standard -a declension noun, amphora, pl. amphorae. Undoubtedly, the word and the vase were introduced to Italy through the Greek settlements there, which traded extensively in Greek pottery.
It is remarkable that though the Etruscans imported and exported amphorae extensively in their wine industry, other Greek vase names were Etruscanized, no Etruscan form of the word exists. There was an as yet unidentified native Etruscan word for the vase that pre-empted the adoption of amphora; the Latin word derived from the Greek amphoreus, a shortened form of amphiphoreus, a compound word combining amphi- and phoreus, from pherein, referring to the vessel's two carrying handles on opposite sides. The amphora appears as, a-pi-po-re-we, in the Linear B Bronze Age records of Knossos, a-po-re-we, at Mycenae, the fragmentary ]-re-we at Pylos, designated by Ideogram 209, Bennett's AMPHORA, which has a number of scribal variants; the two spellings are transcriptions of amphiphorēwes and amphorēwe in Mycenaean Greek from which it may be seen that the short form prevailed on the mainland. Homer uses the long form for metrical reasons, Herodotus has the short form. Ventris and Chadwick's translation is "carried on both sides."
Amphorae varied in height. The largest stands as tall as 1.5 metres high, while some were less than 30 centimetres high - the smallest were called amphoriskoi. Most were around 45 centimetres high. There was a significant degree of standardisation in some variants. In all 66 distinct types of amphora have been identified. Further, the term stands for an ancient Roman unit of measurement for liquids; the volume of a Roman amphora was one cubic foot, c. 26.026 L. Roman amphorae were wheel-thrown terracotta containers. During the production process the body was made first and left to dry partially. Coils of clay were added to form the neck, the rim, the handles. Once the amphora was complete, the maker treated the interior with resin that would prevent permeation of stored liquids; the reconstruction of these stages of production is based on the study of modern amphora production in some areas of the eastern Mediterranean. Amphorae were marked with a variety of stamps and inscript
The Porta Maggiore, or Porta Prenestina, is one of the eastern gates in the ancient but well-preserved 3rd-century Aurelian Walls of Rome. Through the gate ran two ancient roads: the Via Praenestina and the Via Labicana; the Via Prenestina was the eastern road to the ancient town of Praeneste. The Via Labicana heads southeast from the city; the Porta Maggiore is by far the best urban site to visit for an understanding and view of the ancient aqueducts. It is a monumental double archway built of white travertine, it was first known as the Porta Prenestina a reference to the road over, passes. The "gate," built in 52 AD by the emperor Claudius, was intended to provide a decorative section of support for two aqueducts, the Aqua Claudia and the Anio Novus. At that time these aqueducts crossed the ancient Via Labicana and Praenestina roads thereby providing the opportunity to create at this location a sort of triumphal arch to the conquest of nature and its conqueror, the emperor Claudius; the two channels of these aqueducts, one lying on top of the other, can be seen when viewing the cross-section running through the travertine attic at the top of the gate.
The gate was incorporated in the Aurelian Wall in 271 by the emperor Aurelian thus turning it into an entrance to the city. Experts refer to this as an early example of “architectural recycling,” adapting one existing structure, to another use. In this case using an aqueduct as a wall, it was modified further when the emperor Honorius augmented the walls in 405. The foundations of a guardhouse added by Honorius are still visible, while the upper part of the gate, as built by Honorius, has been moved to the left side of the Porta, it is known as the Porta Maggiore designated as such because of the road that runs through the gate leads to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. The church is an important place of prayer dedicated to the Virgin Mary; the following inscriptions in praise of the emperors Claudius and Titus for their work on the aqueducts are prominently displayed on the attic of the Porta Maggiore: TI. CLAUDIUS DRUSI F. CAISAR AUGUSTUS GERMANICUS PONTIF. MAXIM. / TRIBUNICIA POTESTATE XII, COS. V, IMPERATOR XXVII, PATER PATRIAE, / AQUAS CLAUDIAM EX FONTIBUS, QUI VOCABANTUR CAERULEUS ET CURTIUS A MILLIARIO XXXXV, / ITEM ANIENEM NOVAM A MILLIARIO LXII SUA IMPENSA IN URBEM PERDUCENDAS CURAVIT.
IMP. CAESAR VESPASIANUS AUGUST. PONTIF. MAX. TRIB. POT. II IMP. VI COS. III DESIG. IIII P. P. / AQUAS CURTIAM ET CAERULEAM PERDUCTAS A DIVO CLAUDIO ET POSTEA INTERMISSAS DILAPSASQUE / PER ANNOS NOVEM SUA IMPENSA URBI RESTITUIT. IMP. T. CAESAR DIVI F. VESPASIANUS AUGUSTUS PONTIFEX MAXIMUS TRIBUNIC. / POTESTATE X IMPERATOR XVII PATER PATRIAE CENSOR COS. VIII / AQUAS CURTIAM ET CAERULEAM PERDUCTAS A DIVO CLAUDIO ET POSTEA / A DIVO VESPASIANO PATRE SUO URBI RESTITUTAS CUM A CAPITE AQUARUM A SOLO VETUSTATE DILAPSAE ESSENT NOVA FORMA REDUCENDAS SUA IMPENSA CURAVIT. Close by the gate, just outside the wall, is the unusual Tomb of the Baker, built by Marcus Virgilius Eurysaces. In 1917, a subterranean Neopythagorean Porta Maggiore Basilica was discovered nearby on the Via Praenestina, dating from the 1st century; the groundplan shows three naves and an apse, a design similar to that which began to be adopted in Christian basilicas during the 4th century. The vaults are decorated with white stuccoes symbolizing Neopythagorean beliefs, although the precise meaning of elements of the decoration remains a subject of debate.
Information on the Porta Prenestina from the LacusCurtius website. Pictures of the gate Porta Maggiore information Further information, a map High-resolution 360° Panoramas and Images of Porta Maggiore | Art Atlas
Vatican Hill is a hill located across the Tiber river from the traditional seven hills of Rome. It is the location of St. Peter's Basilica; the ancient Romans had several opinions about the derivation of the Latin word Vaticanus. Varro connected it to a Deus Vaticanus or Vagitanus, a Roman deity thought to endow infants with the capacity for speech evidenced by their first wail. Varro's rather complicated explanation relates this function to the tutelary deity of the place and to the advanced powers of speech possessed by a prophet, as preserved by the antiquarian Aulus Gellius: We have been told that the word Vatican is applied to the hill, the deity who presides over it, from the vaticinia, or prophecies, which took place there by the power and inspiration of the god. "As Aius," says he, "was called a deity, an altar was built to his honour in the lowest part of the new road, because in that place a voice from heaven was heard, so this deity was called Vaticanus, because he presided over the principles of the human voice.
St. Augustine, familiar with Varro's works on ancient Roman theology, mentions this deity three times in The City of God. Vaticanus is more to derive in fact from the name of an Etruscan settlement called Vatica or Vaticum, located in the general area the Romans called vaticanus ager, "Vatican territory". If such a settlement existed, however, no trace of it has been discovered; the consular fasti preserve a personal name Vaticanus in the mid-5th century BC, of unknown relation to the place name. Vaticanus Mons was most a name in Classical Latin for the Janiculum. Cicero uses the plural form Vaticani Montes in a context that seems to include the modern Vatican Hill as well as the Monte Mario and the Janiculan hill; the Vaticanum or Campus Vaticanus was a level area between the Vaticanus Mons and the Tiber. During the Republican era, it was an unwholesome site frequented by the destitute. Caligula and Nero used the area for chariot exercises, as at the Gaianum, renewal was encouraged by the building of the Circus of Nero known as the Circus Vaticanus or the Vaticanum.
The location of tombs near the Circus Vaticanus is mentioned in a few late sources. The Vaticanum was the site of the Phrygianum, a temple of the Magna Mater goddess Cybele. Although secondary to this deity's main worship on the Palatine Hill, this temple gained such fame in the ancient world that both Lyon, in Gaul, Mainz, in Germany called their own Magna Mater compounds "Vaticanum" in imitation. Remnants of this structure were encountered in the Seventeenth Century reconstruction of St. Peter's Square. Vaticanus Mons came to refer to the modern Vatican Hill as a result of calling the whole area the "Vatican". Christian usage of the name was spurred by the martyrdom of St. Peter there. Beginning in the early 4th century AD, construction began on the Old St. Peter's Basilica over a cemetery, the traditional site of St. Peter's tomb. Around this time, the name Vaticanus Mons was established in its modern usage, the Janiculum hill was distinguished from it as the Ianiculensis Mons. Another cemetery nearby was opened to the public on 10 October 2006 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Vatican Museums.
The Vatican Hill was included within the city limits of Rome during the reign of Pope Leo IV, between 848 and 852, expanded the city walls to protect St. Peter's Basilica and the Vatican. Thus, Vatican Hill has been within the walls and city limits of Rome for over 1100 years; until the Lateran Treaties in 1929 it was part of the Rione of Borgo. Before the Avignon Papacy, the headquarters of the Holy See were located at the Lateran Palace. After the Avignon Papacy the church administration moved to Vatican Hill and the papal palace was the Quirinal Palace, upon the Quirinal Hill. Since 1929, part of the Vatican Hill is the site of the State of the Vatican City. However, the cathedral of the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, is not St. Peter's in the Vatican, but Basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano, extra-territorially linked, as indicated in the Lateran Pacts signed with the Italian state in 1929, with the Holy See. Nino Lo Bello. Incredible Book of Vatican Facts and Papal Curiosities, 1998. New York: Liguori Publications.
Constantinople was the capital city of the Roman Empire, of the Byzantine Empire, of the brief Crusader state known as the Latin Empire, until falling to the Ottoman Empire. It was reinaugurated in 324 from ancient Byzantium as the new capital of the Roman Empire by Emperor Constantine the Great, after whom it was named, dedicated on 11 May 330; the city was located in what is now the core of modern Istanbul. From the mid-5th century to the early 13th century, Constantinople was the largest and wealthiest city in Europe; the city was famed for its architectural masterpieces, such as the Greek Orthodox cathedral of Hagia Sophia, which served as the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the sacred Imperial Palace where the Emperors lived, the Galata Tower, the Hippodrome, the Golden Gate of the Land Walls, the opulent aristocratic palaces lining the arcaded avenues and squares. The University of Constantinople was founded in the fifth century and contained numerous artistic and literary treasures before it was sacked in 1204 and 1453, including its vast Imperial Library which contained the remnants of the Library of Alexandria and had over 100,000 volumes of ancient texts.
It was instrumental in the advancement of Christianity during Roman and Byzantine times as the home of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople and as the guardian of Christendom's holiest relics such as the Crown of Thorns and the True Cross. Constantinople was famed for its complex defences; the first wall of the city was erected by Constantine I, surrounded the city on both land and sea fronts. In the 5th century, the Praetorian Prefect Anthemius under the child emperor Theodosius II undertook the construction of the Theodosian Walls, which consisted of a double wall lying about 2 kilometres to the west of the first wall and a moat with palisades in front; this formidable complex of defences was one of the most sophisticated of Antiquity. The city was built intentionally to rival Rome, it was claimed that several elevations within its walls matched the'seven hills' of Rome; because it was located between the Golden Horn and the Sea of Marmara the land area that needed defensive walls was reduced, this helped it to present an impregnable fortress enclosing magnificent palaces and towers, the result of the prosperity it achieved from being the gateway between two continents and two seas.
Although besieged on numerous occasions by various armies, the defences of Constantinople proved impregnable for nearly nine hundred years. In 1204, the armies of the Fourth Crusade took and devastated the city, its inhabitants lived several decades under Latin misrule. In 1261 the Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos liberated the city, after the restoration under the Palaiologos dynasty, enjoyed a partial recovery. With the advent of the Ottoman Empire in 1299, the Byzantine Empire began to lose territories and the city began to lose population. By the early 15th century, the Byzantine Empire was reduced to just Constantinople and its environs, along with Morea in Greece, making it an enclave inside the Ottoman Empire. According to Pliny the Elder in his Natural History, the first known name of a settlement on the site of Constantinople was Lygos, a settlement of Thracian origin founded between the 13th and 11th centuries BC; the site, according to the founding myth of the city, was abandoned by the time Greek settlers from the city-state of Megara founded Byzantium in around 657 BC, across from the town of Chalcedon on the Asiatic side of the Bosphorus.
The origins of the name of Byzantion, more known by the Latin Byzantium, are not clear, though some suggest it is of Thraco-Illyrian origin. The founding myth of the city has it told that the settlement was named after the leader of the Megarian colonists, Byzas; the Byzantines of Constantinople themselves would maintain that the city was named in honour of two men and Antes, though this was more just a play on the word Byzantion. The city was renamed Augusta Antonina in the early 3rd century AD by the Emperor Septimius Severus, who razed the city to the ground in 196 for supporting a rival contender in the civil war and had it rebuilt in honour of his son Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, popularly known as Caracalla; the name appears to have been forgotten and abandoned, the city reverted to Byzantium/Byzantion after either the assassination of Caracalla in 217 or, at the latest, the fall of the Severan dynasty in 235. Byzantium took on the name of Kōnstantinoupolis after its refoundation under Roman emperor Constantine I, who transferred the capital of the Roman Empire to Byzantium in 330 and designated his new capital as Nova Roma'New Rome'.
During this time, the city was called'Second Rome','Eastern Rome', Roma Constantinopolitana. As the city became the sole remaining capital of the Roman Empire after the fall of the West, its wealth and influence grew, the city came to have a multitude of nicknames; as the largest and wealthiest city in Europe during the 4th–13th centuries and a centre of culture and education of the Mediterranean basin, Constantinople came to be known by prestigious titles such as Basileuousa and Megalopol
The Capitolium or Capitoline Hill, between the Forum and the Campus Martius, is one of the Seven Hills of Rome. The hill was earlier known as Mons Saturnius, dedicated to the god Saturn; the word Capitolium first meant the temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus built here, afterwards it was used for the whole hill, thus Mons Capitolinus. Ancient sources refer the name to caput and the tale was that, when laying the foundations for the temple, the head of a man was found, some sources saying it was the head of some Tolus or Olus; the Capitolium was regarded by the Romans as indestructible, was adopted as a symbol of eternity. By the 16th century, Capitolinus had become Capitolino in Italian, Capitolium Campidoglio; the Capitoline Hill contains few ancient ground-level ruins, as they are entirely covered up by Medieval and Renaissance palaces that surround a piazza, a significant urban plan designed by Michelangelo. Influenced by Roman architecture and Roman republican times, the word Capitolium still lives in the English word capitol.
The Capitol Hill in Washington, D. C. is assumed to be named after the Capitoline Hill, but the relation is not clear. At this hill, the Sabines, creeping to the Citadel, were let in by the Roman maiden Tarpeia. For this treachery, Tarpeia was the first to be punished by being flung from a steep cliff overlooking the Roman Forum; this cliff was named the Tarpeian Rock after the Vestal Virgin, became a frequent execution site. The Sabines, who immigrated to Rome following the Rape of the Sabine Women, settled on the Capitoline; the Vulcanal, an 8th-century BC sacred precinct, occupied much of the eastern lower slopes of the Capitoline, at the head of what would become the Roman Forum. The summit was the site of a temple for the Capitoline Triad, started by Rome's fifth king, Tarquinius Priscus, completed by the seventh and last king, Tarquinius Superbus, it was considered one of the most beautiful temples in the city. The city legend starts with the recovery of a human skull when foundation trenches were being dug for the Temple of Jupiter at Tarquin's order.
Recent excavations on the Capitoline uncovered an early cemetery under the Temple of Jupiter. There are several important temples built on Capitoline hill: the temple of Juno Moneta, the temple of Virtus, the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus Capitolinus; the Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus Capitolinus is the most important of the temples. It was nearly as large as the Parthenon; the hill and the temple of Jupiter became the symbols of the capital of the world. The Temple of Saturn was built at the foot of Capitoline Hill in the western end of the Forum Romanum; when the Senones Gauls raided Rome in 390 BC, after the battle of River Allia, the Capitoline Hill was the one section of the city to evade capture by the barbarians, due to its being fortified by the Roman defenders. According to legend Marcus Manlius Capitolinus was alerted to the Gallic attack by the sacred geese of Juno; when Julius Caesar suffered an accident during his triumph indicating the wrath of Jupiter for his actions in the Civil Wars, he approached the hill and Jupiter's temple on his knees as a way of averting the unlucky omen.
Vespasian's brother and nephew were besieged in the temple during the Year of Four Emperors. The Tabularium, located underground beneath the piazza and hilltop, occupies a building of the same name built in the 1st century BC to hold Roman records of state; the Tabularium looks out from the rear onto the Roman Forum. The main attraction of the Tabularium, besides the structure itself, is the Temple of Veiovis. During the lengthy period of ancient Rome, the Capitoline Hill was the geographical and ceremonial center. However, by the Renaissance, the former center was an untidy conglomeration of dilapidated buildings and the site of executions of criminals; the church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli is adjacent to the square, located near where the ancient arx, or citadel, atop the hill it once stood. At its base are the remains of a Roman insula, with more than four storeys visible from the street. In the Middle Ages, the hill’s sacred function was obscured by its other role as the center of the civic government of Rome, revived as a commune in the 11th century.
The city's government was now to be under papal control, but the Capitoline was the scene of movements of urban resistance, such as the dramatic scenes of Cola di Rienzo's revived republic. In 1144, a revolt by the citizens against the authority of the Pope and nobles led to a senator taking up his official residence on the Capitoline Hill; the senator’s new palace turned its back on the ancient forum, beginning the change in orientation on the hill that Michelangelo would accentuate. A small piazza was laid out in front of the senator’s palace, intended for communal purposes. In the middle of the 14th century, the guilds’ court of justice was constructed on the southern end of the piazza; this would house the Conservatori in the 15th century. As a result, the piazza was surrounded by buildings by the 16th century; the existing design of the Piazza del Campidoglio and the surrounding palazzi was created by Renaissance artist and architect Michelangelo Buonarroti in 1536–1546. At the height of his fame, he w
Worcester is a city in, the county seat of, Worcester County, United States. Named after Worcester, England, as of the 2010 Census the city's population was 181,045, making it the second most populous city in New England after Boston. Worcester is located 40 miles west of Boston, 50 miles east of Springfield and 40 miles north of Providence. Due to its location in Central Massachusetts, Worcester is known as the "Heart of the Commonwealth", thus, a heart is the official symbol of the city. However, the heart symbol may have its provenance in lore that the Valentine's Day card, although not invented in the city, was mass-produced and popularized by Esther Howland who resided in Worcester. Worcester was considered its own distinct region apart from Boston until the 1970s. Since Boston's suburbs have been moving out further westward after the construction of Interstate 495 and Interstate 290; the Worcester region now marks the western periphery of the Boston-Worcester-Providence U. S. Census Combined Greater Boston.
The city features many examples of Victorian-era mill architecture. The area was first inhabited by members of the Nipmuc tribe; the native people called the region built a settlement on Pakachoag Hill in Auburn. In 1673 English settlers John Eliot and Daniel Gookin led an expedition to Quinsigamond to establish a new Christian Indian "praying town" and identify a new location for an English settlement. On July 13, 1674, Gookin obtained a deed to eight square miles of land in Quinsigamond from the Nipmuc people and English traders and settlers began to inhabit the region. In 1675, King Philip's War broke out throughout New England with the Nipmuc Indians coming to the aid of Indian leader King Philip; the English settlers abandoned the Quinsigamond area and the empty buildings were burned by the Indian forces. The town was again abandoned during Queen Anne's War in 1702. In 1713, Worcester was permanently resettled for a third time by Jonas Rice. Named after the city of Worcester, the town was incorporated on June 14, 1722.
On April 2, 1731, Worcester was chosen as the county seat of the newly founded Worcester County government. Between 1755 and 1758, future U. S. president John Adams studied law in Worcester. In the 1770s, Worcester became a center of American revolutionary activity. British General Thomas Gage was given information of patriot ammunition stockpiled in Worcester in 1775. In 1775, Massachusetts Spy publisher Isaiah Thomas moved his radical newspaper out of British occupied Boston to Worcester. Thomas would continuously publish his paper throughout the American Revolutionary War. On July 14, 1776, Thomas performed the first public reading in Massachusetts of the Declaration of Independence from the porch of the Old South Church, where the 19th century Worcester City Hall stands today, he would go on to form the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester in 1812. During the turn of the 19th century Worcester's economy moved into manufacturing. Factories producing textiles and clothing opened along the nearby Blackstone River.
However, the manufacturing industry in Worcester would not begin to thrive until the opening of the Blackstone Canal in 1828 and the opening of the Worcester and Boston Railroad in 1835. The city transformed into a transportation hub and the manufacturing industry flourished. Worcester was chartered as a city on February 29, 1848; the city's industries soon attracted immigrants of Irish, French and Swedish descent in the mid-19th century and many immigrants of Lithuanian, Italian, Greek and Armenian descent. Immigrants moved into new three-decker houses which lined hundreds of Worcester's expanding streets and neighborhoods. In 1831 Ichabod Washburn opened the Moen Company; the company would become the largest wire manufacturing in the country and Washburn became one of the leading industrial and philanthropic figures in the city. Worcester would become a center of machinery, wire products and power looms and boasted large manufacturers, Washburn & Moen, Wyman-Gordon Company, American Steel & Wire, Morgan Construction and the Norton Company.
In 1908 the Royal Worcester Corset Company was the largest employer of women in the United States. Worcester would claim many inventions and firsts. New England Candlepin bowling was invented in Worcester by Justin White in 1879. Esther Howland began the first line of Valentine's Day cards from her Worcester home in 1847. Loring Coes invented the first monkey wrench and Russell Hawes created the first envelope folding machine. On June 12, 1880, Lee Richmond pitched the first perfect game in Major league baseball history for the Worcester Ruby Legs at the Worcester Agricultural Fairgrounds. On June 9, 1953 an F4 tornado touched down in Massachusetts northwest of Worcester; the tornado tore through 48 miles of Worcester County including a large area of the city of Worcester. The tornado killed 94 people; the Worcester Tornado would be the most deadly tornado to hit Massachusetts. Debris from the tornado landed as far away as Massachusetts. After World War II, Worcester began to fall into decline as the city lost its manufacturing base to cheaper alternatives across the country and overseas.
Worcester felt the national trends of movement away from historic urban centers. The city's population would drop over 20% from 1950 to 1980. In the mid-20th century large urban renewal projects were undertaken to try and reverse the city's decline. A huge area of downtown Worcester was demolished for new office towers and the 1,000,000 sq. ft. Wor
Monte Testaccio is an artificial mound in Rome composed entirely of testae, fragments of broken ancient Roman pottery, nearly all discarded amphorae dating from the time of the Roman Empire, some of which were labelled with tituli picti. It is one of the largest spoil heaps found anywhere in the ancient world, covering an area of 20,000 square metres at its base and with a volume of 580,000 cubic metres, containing the remains of an estimated 53 million amphorae, it has a circumference of nearly a kilometre and stands 35 metres high, though it was considerably higher in ancient times. It stands a short distance away from the east bank of the River Tiber, near the Horrea Galbae where the state-controlled reserve of olive oil was stored in the late 2nd century AD; the mound had both religious and military significance. The huge numbers of broken amphorae at Monte Testaccio illustrate the enormous demand for oil of imperial Rome, at the time the world's largest city with a population of at least one million people.
It has been estimated that the hill contains the remains of as many as 53 million olive oil amphorae, in which some 6 billion litres of oil were imported. Studies of the hill's composition suggest that Rome's imports of olive oil reached a peak towards the end of the 2nd century AD, when as many as 130,000 amphorae were being deposited on the site each year; the vast majority of those vessels had a capacity of some 70 liters. As the vessels found at Monte Testaccio appear to represent state-sponsored olive oil imports, it is likely that considerable additional quantities of olive oil were imported privately. Monte Testaccio was not a haphazard waste dump. Excavations carried out in 1991 showed that the mound had been raised as a series of level terraces with retaining walls made of nearly intact amphorae filled with shards to anchor them in place. Empty amphorae were carried up the mound intact on the backs of donkeys or mules and broken up on the spot, with the shards laid out in a stable pattern.
Lime appears to have been sprinkled over the broken pots to neutralise the smell of rancid oil. As the oldest parts of Monte Testaccio are at the bottom of the mound, it is difficult to say with any certainty when it was first created. Deposits found by excavators have been dated to a period between AD 140 to 250, but it is possible that dumping could have begun on the site as early as the 1st century BC; the mound has a triangular shape comprising two distinct platforms, the eastern side being the oldest. At least four distinct series of terraces were built in a stepped arrangement. Layers of small shards were laid down in some places to serve as paths for those carrying out the waste disposal operations; the hill was constructed using the fragments of large globular 70-liter vessels from Baetica, of a type now known as Dressel 20. It included smaller numbers of two types of amphorae from Tripolitania and Byzacena. All three types of vessel were used to transport olive oil. However, it is not clear.
The oil itself was decanted into bulk containers when the amphorae were unloaded at the port, in much the same way as other staples such as grain. There is no equivalent mound of broken grain or wine amphorae and the overwhelming majority of the amphorae found at Monte Testaccio are of one single type, which raises the question of why the Romans found it necessary to dispose of the amphorae in this way. One possibility is that the Dressel 20 amphora, the principal type found at Monte Testaccio, may have been unusually difficult to recycle. Many types of amphora could be re-used to carry the same type of product or modified to serve a different purpose—for instance, as drain pipes or flower pots. Fragmentary amphorae could be pounded into chips to use in opus signinum, a type of concrete used as a building material, or could be used as landfill; the Dressel 20 amphora, broke into large curved fragments that could not be reduced to small shards. It is that the difficulty of reusing or repurposing the Dressel 20s meant that it was more economical to discard them.
Another reason for not re-cycling olive oil amphorae into concrete of the opus signinum type may have been that the fragments were too fatty due to residual oil. Oil happens to react chemically with lime and the product of this chemical reaction is soap. Wheat amphorae and wine amphorae on the other hand were "clean" enough to be re-cycled into concrete. Monte Testaccio has provided archaeologists with a rare insight into the ancient Roman economy; the amphorae deposited in the mound were labelled with tituli picti, painted or stamped inscriptions which record information such as the weight of the oil contained in the vessel, the names of the people who weighed and documented the oil and the name of the district where the oil was bottled. This has allowed archaeologists to determine that the oil in the vessels was imported under state authority and was designated for the annona urbis or