In the Spring and Summer of 2016 and 2017, the Universities of Oxford and Pavia carried out a series of non-invasive investigations of the area of Hadrian's Villa traditionally interpreted, fro the 16th century onward, as a reproduction of the Underworld. The little-studied and never published site is located on one of the highest rises of the complex, in the Eastern part of the Villa and it consists of: i) the Inferi, a Grotto/cave/nymphaeum connected to an artificial canal where water was channeled to evoke the river Styx in the land of the dead; ii) The Plutonium or Temple of Pluto/Hades, Lord of the Underworld, known from the first travellers' accounts as a large building on a high podium; iii) a network of underground passages, partially connecting to the known routes running under the villa. The campaigns of surveys and documentation demonstrated that the plan of the building does not entirely corresponds with that recorded by the historical maps of the area (e.g. Piranesi), and the complex is closely connected to the surrounding landscape. The building known as "Plutonium" or "temple of Pluto" is a large structure on high podium, with a central courtyard surrounded by a series of rooms, with wide windows and balconies, providing vistas on the surrounding landscape by exploiting its elevated position (this area is known as the "higher ground" because it occupies the only elevated hill of the Villa). Except from its NW side, where a series of rooms, one of which with a temple-like facade, are located, it appears as a large garden pavillion, surrounded by columns in the Ionic order, the monumentale entrance of which was embellished with a circular or semi-circular structure. The walls were lavishly decorated with coloured marbles and floors with polychromatic mosaics. The buildings was probably part of an artificially landscaped area, since both "Inferi" and "Plutonium" were made t the same time (the valley of the Inferi being used as a quarry for the construction of the Plutonium), enjoy the same orientation and are possibly connected by a pattern of ditches and tunnel revealed by the geophysical survey.
|Titolo della pubblicazione ospite||Adventus hadriani. Investigaciones sobre Arquitectura Adrianea|
|Numero di pagine||19|
|Stato di pubblicazione||Published - 2020|
|Nome||HISPANIA ANTIGUA. SERIE ARQUEOLÓGICA|