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Domus Romana in Malta

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Domus Romana in Malta
Domus Romana in Malta

Domus Romana are the remains of a Roman house in Malta on the border of the cities of Mdina and Rabat (the ancient city of Melite), in the central part of the island. The facility was inhabited in the 1st century BCE – 2nd century CE.

The ruins were discovered by accident (during construction works) in 1881, and with them a number of amazing objects from Roman times (e.g. oil lamps, utensils, coins, amphoras), statues, mosaics or Muslim tombstones. From 1882, the area of ​​the Roman house was opened to the public as a museum.

The Roman house had – modeled on the Greek architectural style – a large peristyle (internal courtyard). Both the peristyle floors and the rooms in the house were beautifully decorated with numerous mosaics, made using two techniques: opus vermiculatum (very small pieces – up to 1 mm – stone, glass or ceramics were used to show figures and shadows); or opus tessellatum (larger pieces – about 4 mm – were used to show geometric figures or simple figures).

The walls also found remains of wall paintings imitating colored marble. Among the extremely valuable finds are, among others sculpture of Emperor Claudius, his daughter Claudia Antonia and a large floor mosaic showing pigeons on the fountain.

After the fall of Rome, in the 11th century a Muslim cemetery was founded on the house.

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