Spanish archaeologists find unique example of Roman opulence

A triclinium was a dining area for three people - CREDIT: Wikimedia

SPANISH archaeologists have discovered the most luxurious banquet hall in the Roman Empire.

The discovery was made in Tivoli, around 30 kilometres from Rome, at a site known as Villa Adriana and the director of the excavation, Rafael Hidalgo Prieto, has said that it is a “unique” find.

What has been found is called an ‘aquatic triclinium’: a dining room for three people, with a marble platform raised on marble pillars and surrounded by water as if it were an island.

This is something which was not known in Roman times and this is why the discovery, made by teachers and researchers from the Pablo de Olavide University in Sevilla, is so special.

They have been working in the area since 2003 and made many discoveries, the most recent of which is an example of the just how luxurious the Palace of the emperor Hadrian would have been. The researchers insist that there is nothing like it in the world, according to a report in national Spanish daily ABC.

Hadrian, an Emperor of Hispanic descent, ruled between 117 and 138, had a taste for opulence and a unique example of this is the triclinium found at Villa Adriana.

In the Palazzo, the team has also found another banquet room, located at the end of a large decorative pool, similar to one in Alexandria. In fact, this one is on a smaller scale and could have been a kind of ‘model’ for the one in Egypt.

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Written by

Jennifer Leighfield

Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics. Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.


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