Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Roman villa update Dig reveals "billionaire's" Roman villa with baths
Archaeologists have uncovered a tycoon's mansion outside central Rome with its very own bath complex -- the ancient Roman equivalent of owning a fleet of Ferraris or a private jet as a way of showing off wealth.

"This is a very impressive, very well preserved bath complex that belonged to a certain Quintus Servilius Pudens who was a billionaire friend of Emperor Hadrian," said Darius Arya, an American archaeologist who is leading the dig.

The site of the Villa delle Vignacce, towards Ciampino airport south of Rome, was first explored by archaeologists in 1780 who found statues that are now in the Vatican museum.