Greek ‘computer’ reconstructed.

The Guardian Science blog
has a YouTube video demonstrating a modern reconstruction of the Antikythera mechanism.

Is this the face that launched 1000 films?

Thanks to Rogue Classicism for this link – it’s a reconstruction, using the ancient images we have, of Cleopatra’s face.

Rogue Classicism recommends the Daily Mail pic as the best.

Channel 5 is showing a documentary on Cleo on Thursday 18 December from 8 to 9 pm. The Radio Times blurb says:

Scholars piece together the story of the last pharaoh of Egypt’s rule. She was depicted as a temptress whose affairs with Julius Caesar and Mark Antony precipitated the conquest of Egypt by the Romans, but was she the victim of spin? Becoming queen at 18, she was locked in a power struggle with her brother, but managed to fend off Roman interest for 20 years.

Worth watching, I guess.

Domus Aurea closed again – because of rain

I’ve never seen the Domus Aurea, except by peering down through a grating at ground level. I suppose I just haven’t been in Rome at the right time. Anyway, they say they don’t know when it will reopen.

Associated Press

ROME (AP) — Authorities in Rome have closed Nero’s Golden Palace to the public after days of heavy rain filled the monument with mud and damaged the electrical system.

Gabriella Gatto, a spokeswoman for the city’s archaeological office, said no decision has been made on when the monument will reopen.

She stressed that the closure was only a safety precaution and that the palace was not significantly damaged by the severe storms that hit Rome over the last week.

Built by Roman emperor Nero in the first century A.D., the sumptuous “Domus Aurea” has been plagued by structural problems and humidity that threaten its frescoed halls.

Roughly half the palace was closed after heavy rains in 2005 threatened to collapse it. Until Monday some sections had stayed open to guided tours.

Developer sponsors Roman shield painting competition

Wiltshire Times

PUPILS at a primary school near Trowbridge will turn back the clocks to do battle in a Roman shield design competition.

Children in Years 3 and 4 at Staverton Primary School, which is near a site where Roman remains were found, have been taking part in the competition as part of their history lessons.

Headteacher Bruce Douglas said: “Romans are part of the National Curriculum, and we have been lucky that we have a site so near us.

“The children had already made scale models of shields, so this fitted in nicely with what they were doing.”

He added: “These things show that history is alive and around us, and not just a dry, dusty subject.”

The competition is being run by housing developer Persimmon Homes Wessex. The designs will be sent for judging in January.

Roman artefacts were discovered at the site near New Terrace in Staverton when the developers began work in 2007. The discovery of several skeletons led archaeologists to believe that part of the site was used as a cemetary. Coins, pottery, and the remains of some buildings were also found.

The artefacts were removed by archaeologists and will be displayed permanently in Trowbridge Museum once research work is finished.