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Strange openings on Macellum columns in Pozzuoli

This post is also available in: Polish (polski)

Columns on the Macellum in Pozzuoli
Columns on the Macellum in Pozzuoli. | Photo: Ferdinando Marfella | Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

Puteoli or today’s Pozzuoli. Known mainly for the nearby layers of volcanic sand called “pozzolana”. Once a magnificent Roman port on the Gulf of Naples. Many different buildings have been preserved there from Roman times. One of such places is Macellum the market.

For a long time, it was considered the temple of Serapis, from the head of this Greco-Egyptian deity, found there.
Excavation work in this area began on the initiative of the Bourbon dynasty in the middle of the eighteenth century. The researchers’ attention was drawn to small strange holes in the central part of each of the three columns that have survived to our times. It turned out that their formation is related to a geological phenomenon called “Bradyseism”. This process is the slow rise and fall of the coast from sea level due to seismic movements.

This means that Macellum must have been sunk by the sea and then reappeared after some time.
The above-mentioned holes were formed as a result of the activity of marine mollusks of the Litophag family when Macellum was underwater.


Author: Dariusz Chomiczewski (translated from Polish: Jakub Jasiński)

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