Ida Sciortino

Author: Ida Sciortino

Archaeologist at MiBAC (the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities) since 1980, she has been a member of the Domus Aurea staff since 1992 and is the blog coordinator. The scientific director of the Underground Basilica at Porta Maggiore, she is also responsible for safeguard in part of the territory of Rome’s 1st District (I Municipio), adjacent to the north-western area of the Roman Forum where since 1982 she has been responsible for all archaeological research and for completing the conservation of the structures in the area behind the Temple of Saturn. On 30 September 2014, as part of the initiatives for the Bimillennium of Augustus, the ancient route of the Vicus Iugarius and the Basilica Julia were reopened to the public.

Update On the State of Progress as of 20 January 2015

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After the opening to the public of the Domus Aurea Worksite on Saturdays and Sundays, which continues to see an uninterrupted flow of visitors, work on the “Domus Aurea Project” continues both with consolidation inside the monument, to be described in detail in our forthcoming articles, and in the Oppian Hill Park .

We are proceeding with the complex structural rehabilitation work in the so-called “Little Barracks” and have finished consolidating and securing the decorated surfaces in rooms 24, 25, 56, 58, 59, 60, 63 and 116. We are currently in the process of finishing work in rooms 22, 23 and 62, which will shortly be completely free of scaffolding.

Room 23, cleaned area on the south wall – SOPRINTENDENZA Archive

Room 23, cleaned area on the south wall – SOPRINTENDENZA Archive

Room 23, cleaned area on the vault – SOPRINTENDENZA Archive

Room 23, cleaned area on the vault – SOPRINTENDENZA Archive

Corridor 62, securing the decorated surfaces– SOPRINTENDENZA Archive

Corridor 62, securing the decorated surfaces– SOPRINTENDENZA Archive

Corridor 62, detail showing the detachment of the preparatory layers and the painted surface from the wall– SOPRINTENDENZA Archive

Corridor 62, detail showing the detachment of the preparatory layers and the painted surface from the wall– SOPRINTENDENZA Archive

In the meantime, we have completed the tender process for the work to complete consolidation in rooms 32-33-34 and planned the new projects that will shortly enter the tender stage.

In the Oppian Hill park, in the area above the Domus Aurea, we have continued work to lay the provisional drainage layer, which seems to be performing its task of reducing the serious seepage of water into the interior of the monument effectively by ensuring surface drainage. We intend to extend this drainage project in order to allow us to continue work even during very heavy rainfall.

The pilot worksite: water spraying during work in the summer  – SOPRINTENDENZA Archive

The pilot worksite: water spraying during work in the summer – SOPRINTENDENZA Archive

The pilot worksite– SOPRINTENDENZA Archive

The pilot worksite– SOPRINTENDENZA Archive

To the great satisfaction of all our staff, we are about to complete work in the Pilot Worksite as well. Here, after consolidating and repairing of the gaps in the ancient structures that appeared during excavations, we have finished putting in place the layers of the package comprising the “Integrated Protection System” with the network of drainage pipes and the cable ducts for the monitoring systems. All that remains to complete this important project test is the final phase, with the planting of the chosen trees and shrubs, the creation of the paths and the digging of the small drainage channels; then this first part of the new sustainable park will be ready.

In the meantime, digging work for the construction of the sewer pipe that will channel waters into the municipal system is underway.

We have updated the State of Progress and the expenditure report.

New studies on the Oppian Hill

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We published a new article today in the Scientific Research – Archaeological Studies category: the preliminary results of an excavation in the park on the Oppian Hill, above the Trajanic Galleries 20A and 20B. The excavation aimed to clarify the external layout and construction features of the ancient vaults so we can reconstruct the missing portions as part of the project to consolidate and protect the monument.

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Consolidation work in the east wing

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From 2006, the East Wing of the Domus Aurea, centred around the famous Octagonal Room, was the site of works undertaken by the Commissioner appointed to urgently secure the Domus Aurea by Directive no. 3541 of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of 18 August 2006. After a research and planning phase, the first consolidation interventions (1st batch) began in 2010. These works, directed by the Commissioner L. Marchetti, entailed consolidating vertical walls and jack arches, alongside structural and microclimatic monitoring, concentrated in the East Wing of the monument. With the Directive of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers no. 4017 of 25 April 2012 the state of emergency ceased and responsibility for the whole monument and its management, with the remaining funds, was returned to the Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Roma, which in the meantime had continued to work in the West Wing as well as acting to safeguard the monument.

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