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Ancient Roman World Heritage Sites Posted by on Jul 14, 2011 in Uncategorized

All over the world there are special sites that can be traced back to the time period of ancient Rome. Some of these sites are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. In order for a site to be considered to be a World Heritage Site, it needs to have some cultural or physical significance. The fact that some of these ancient Roman sites are located outside of Rome attests to the fact that the ancient Roman culture expanded outside the confines of Rome.

The Pont du Gard is an aqueduct in modern day southern France. The ancient Romans built this aqueduct in the first century A.D. Among the many aqueducts built by the ancient Romans, this aqueduct is one of the better-preserved aqueducts. The stones used to build the Pont du Gard were cut so precisely that it eliminated the need for mortar. That means that all the stones are staying together by friction alone!

 

The Tower of Hercules is a World Heritage site in present day Spain. The Tower of Hercules is a lighthouse and is still currently used as a lighthouse. Some people say that it is the oldest functioning lighthouse in the world. It’s difficult to pinpoint just exactly when it was built, but it may have existed by the 2nd century. I think it says a lot about ancient Roman engineering when people today still use the Tower of Hercules!

 

The Villa Romana del Casale is located in Sicily, Italy. The size of the Villa indicates that it was probably owned by someone of the senatorial class or even someone from the royal family. The size of the Villa is impressive, but it’s what’s inside the Villa that makes this a dazzling site. There are numerous mosaics. One of these famous mosaics is titled ‘Bikini Girls’. It’s a mosaic of young girls engaged in various sports and physical activities.

 

The Temple of Bacchus is in Baalbek, Lebanon. It’s ironic because the Temple of Bacchus is better preserved and larger than other ancient structures such as the Parthenon in Greece, yet it is less famous than the Parthenon. The Temple of Bacchus was built under the Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius’s orders. It was modeled after the Greek Corinthian columns of many Greek temples, and much of the ornate details of the columns still remain!

 

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