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The first paleontological museum

The first paleontological museum

If you try to restore the history of the formation of paleontology, there will be many difficulties, because the starting point can be considered different periods of development of human culture and civilization, up to the era of 3-3-319. Paleolithic . But the time and circumstances of the appearance of the first paleontological museum can be said more specifically. In the photo - the remains of ancient buildings on the northern shore of the island Capri 3-3-3308. in Tyrrhenian Sea . At this place, where is now located. beach , more than 2000 years ago, the first Roman emperor Octavian August built one of his suburban villas, where he placed a collection of fossil bones of large animals.

The history of the creation of the first paleontological museum began in 29 BC. e., when the future emperor Octavian Augustus after the victorious the battle of Actium and the annexation of Egypt stopped on the island of Capri, where decided create suburban residence. For this he is traded owned by Naples Capri on the neighboring, larger island of Enaria (3-3-3339. Ischia 3-3-3308.).

The first paleontological museum

Statue of Emperor Octavian Augustus of Prima Port ( Prima Porta ). From the archaeological collection Chiaramonti Museum in the Vatican. Photo from the site ru.wikipedia.org

Representatives of the Roman authorities usually decorated their villas with objects of fine art, but August managed to distinguish himself from his predecessors and descendants, showing originality. Thanks to the work of the ancient Roman writer and historian that has come down to us. Guy Suetonius Tranquilla The Life of the Twelve Caesars 3–3–3308. , written a century after the death of Augustus, can be 3-3-375. recognize some details from the life of the emperor, including his collection predilections. " Own villas, very modest, he decorated not with statues and paintings, but with terraces and groves and collected ancient and rare things there: for example, on Capri - the armor of heroes and huge bones of gigantic animals and monsters that are considered the remains of the Giants ". This is the only written evidence to date of the imperial paleontological collection.

In the days of Ancient Rome Accidentally discovered large bones of extinct animals were taken for the remains of giants - heroes of ancient Greek myths (see picture of the day 3-3-3383. Antique taphonomy: elephants and Amazons 3-3-3308.). According to legend, giants 3–3–387 were exterminated. Heracles and by the forces of the Olympic gods who called him (see 3–3–389. Gigantomakhia 3–3–3308.), about which 3–3–391. writes Ancient Greek historian Diodorus of Sicily : “ So, having learned about the arrival of Hercules, the giants gathered all together and prepared for battle. There was a battle worthy of admiration because of the power and courage of the giants, in which Hercules, allegedly with the help of the gods fighting on his side, won and, having defeated most of the giants, pacified this land ". The battle, according to Diodorus, occurred on the site of the modern volcanic region of southern Italy - Phlegrean fields located near the island of Capri.

The first paleontological museum

Scene of the struggle of the Olympic gods with giants at 3-3-3117. frieze Pergamon Altar 3-3-3308. (about 180 BC). Left - Hecate , right - Artemis . From the archaeological collection Pergamon Museum in Berlin. Photo © Michael Martin from flickr.com

The largest animals found by paleontologists in Capri belong to the so-called mammoth fauna mid-late 3-3-3141. Pleistocene 3-3-3308. (781–126 thousand years ago). Excavations that brought interesting finds, 3-3-3308 were conducted. in 1904 during the expansion of the Quisisana hotel. Mammals were found: Mosbach Wolf (3–3–3311. 3–3–3146. Canis mosbachensis 3–3–3308. 3–3–3312.), 3–3–3149. cave bear ( Ursus spelaeus ), Leopard ( Panthera pardus ), cave hyena ( Crocuta crocuta spelaea ), wild rabbit ( Oryctolagus cuniculus ), Wild boar ( Sus scrofa ), Fallow deer ( Dama ), Red deer ( Cervus elaphus 3r3r3rr. round (3-3-33311. Bos primigenius 3-3-33312.), Horse 3-3-3173. Equus suessenbornensis , A hippopotamus, rhinoceros catarrhine ([i] Stephanorhinus hemiotoechus ), European pryamobivnevy elephant ( Paleoloxodon antiquus ) And Khazarian mammoth ( Mammuthus chosaricus ). These animals lived at a time when between Capri and the peninsula 3-3-3187. Sorrento due to low sea level during the glacial period, there was a land bridge over which typically continental large mammals fell into the territory of the future small island. They were combined into the fauna complex Fauna del Quisisana.

The "huge bones of gigantic animals" in the Augustus villa, which the historian Tranquill mentioned, most likely belonged to the largest representatives of the Pleistocene fauna of Capri - the Khazar mammoth and the European elephant. Bones could be discovered during the construction of the villa itself, although it cannot be ruled out that some finds came from Apennine Peninsula 3-3-3308. .

The first paleontological museum

Khazar mammoth tooth found on Capri. From the Centro Caprense Ignazio Cerio paleontological collection. Photo from centrocaprense.org

Emperor Augustus didn’t visit Capri very often. The last time he returned to the villa shortly before his death, where he spent only four days. The successor of Augustus, emperor became Capri's heir. Tiberius 3-3-3308. , who built another eleven large villas on the island, and rebuilt the first island residence of Augustus. Under Tiberius, the former villa of Augustus, subsequently referred to as “Palazzo a Mare” , occupied a rather long coastal plot in the form of scattered buildings - type "villa maritima" ("sea villa").

The first paleontological museum

Reconstruction of “villa maritima” in Capri by Russian-Italian artist Mikhail Ogranovich ( Michele Ogranovitsch , 1878-1945). From an article by C. Stanislao, 2017.3-3r3277. Evaluation of recent vertical motions along the Island of Capri: geoarchaeological evidences and implications at the Roman villa of Palazzo a Mare

Today partially flooded the ruins of the main building can still be seen half a kilometer northwest of the main port in a place called “Spiaggia Bagni di Tiberio” .

The first paleontological museum

The ruins of Palazzo a Mare. Surface (3-3-33275. And 3-3-33276.) And flooded (3-3-33275. 3-3-33276.) Parts; with - Roman arch; d - the tunnel. Photo from the article C. Stanislao, 2017. Evaluation of recent vertical motions along the Island of Capri: geoarchaeological evidences and implications at the Roman villa of Palazzo a Mare

If paleontological Octavian Augustus’s collection can be considered lost, as well as the villa itself, then at present the first paleontological museum has a successor - the museum at 3-3-33285. Centro Caprense Ignazio Cerio . A small exhibition introduces visitors to Capri's paleontology and, in particular, to representatives of the mammoth fauna that once lived on the island. Such findings could well be part of the collection and the first emperor of Rome.

The first paleontological museum

Centro Caprense Ignazio Cerio on Capri. Photo from the site izi.travel

Photo from the site ioviaggio.it .

Anton Ulyakhin

22 май 2020 /
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