The reality is that unless one just studies like crazy before any given excursion a good share of the time one does not have a clue what it is the eyes are seeing. The photographs (the ones I share and probably of more importance; the ones I donít) serve as a means of remembering any given location. They also sequence the travel over the course of days, and relevant to any given location ó over the course of the hour or two in which we might tarry at a location. Since I rarely take just one image even the tossers are useful for stitching together the dubious ability of this noggin to accurately sequence travels over ten days with multiple events and stops within each day. While I was reading about the Fiume Tevere looking for some background on the massive retaining walls along the Tiber I fell in the text into Basilica di San Clemente al Laterano. We took the tour of the scavi, and I saw at some level these curious brick arches that rose from a lower level but only part way into the level I was standing on. It seemed odd but I did not understand what my eyes were seeing. The current basilica sits on top of two lower levels. As described in the reading I was doing on the periodic and often many meters deep flooding of the city - Roma and its buildings filled up with Fiume Tevere silt and mud. This was an awful job to clean up so they didnít. They filled in and rebuilt on top of the old. The arches were from the original basilica on the site. The original basilica was built on top of a filled in Mithraeum - a sanctuary of the cult of Mithras.
January 9th, 2016
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