Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Romans in Rabat

I had a little time before the Bike4Life fundraiser for Focus Humanitarian Assistance to visit Rabat, the capital of Morocco. There I found the rather small Archeological Museum, whose size is belied by a world class collection of marbles and bronzes, recovered by excavations at Volubilis, the Romano-Berber capital of Mauritania Tingitana. As noted in my guidebook:

When Rome ordered the evacuation of Volubilis in the 3rd century, the citizens, expecting to return shortly, quickly buried their works of art outside the city, where they were to remain undisturbed for 17 centuries.

Take a look at these photos, showing the extraordinary artistry and craftsmanship of pieces dating back to the first century BC. I have chosen two views of Bacchus to share here. The one at the top is a reclining version carved from Carrera marble, about four feet in length. The bronze Bacchus above and to right is about 3 inches in height. The delicate hand below is part of a life size casting of another god.

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