Friday, November 30, 2007

Pickin' Up the Pieces

The mosaics in the Roman villa at Piazza Armerina (said to once be the hunting lodge of THE emperor) are undergoing an Xtreme makeover! A grant from either UNESCO or perhaps Italy is paying for the cleaning, restoring, and preservation of this fabulously rich archaeological site. See an earlier post by me HERE. And see my old photos on FLICKR.

I was there today with more than thirty of our AVID high school students, another teacher, and three tutors, and we were all amazed by the amount of activity and work going on inside the villa, which is covered in plexiglass. We could still move around and see most of the floors, but we also saw lots of workers, hoses, bags of grout, tiles, glue, air hoses, electrical cords, plastic, etc. It was archaeology at work!

It was also pretty cool to have the place almost completely to ourselves AND to get in free as a school group. To top it off, the bar gave us adult chaperones free cappuccini! Oh, by the way, the kids enjoyed themselves and learned a lot with an inquiry exploration activity.

It looks like this work is going to continue for quite some time, considering the villa floor cover 3500 square meters (42 colorful floors in 63 rooms) and are made up of an estimated 30 millions little tiles which are over 1700 years old!

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At December 01, 2007 3:37 AM, Blogger Susan Hollows said...

Very cool photos!

At December 03, 2007 1:17 PM, Anonymous Jacque said...

We noticed this too in November. It's so wonderful and this is one of my favorite places in Sicily...that YOU introduced us too! We've been back twice since.

I noticed while there they would lay a thin cloth over the tiles and then apply wet mud/clay to the cloth...I was wondering what that does....


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