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Sep 16, 2013

A Roman mummy and her jewels.

If you ever visit Palazzo Massimo don't forget to include the basement in your itinerary:  my favorite room houses an amazing exhibit of gold jewelry, alabaster cinerary urns and a sarcophagus still containing the mummy of an eight-year-old girl!
There's also a stunning numismatic collection, the largest one in Italy, covering all periods from the mint of Juno Moneta. 
More than 100 marble fragments illustrate the Edict of Diocletian (301 A.D.),  a measure to combat inflation, essential for understanding Roman economy.  Last but not least you'll have the opportunity to admire the 3 precious scepters of the emperor Maxentius  found in 2006 on the slopes of the Palatine by the Arch of Constantine.
But let's go back to Roman jewelry...  those treasures are precious documents to understand the opulence and the luxury of antiquity.  The little girl of Grottarossa is unique:  though embalming was practiced in Rome, this is the only mummy (II century A.D.) that survived from that period.  Her funerary kit is also on display.  She was actually found adorned with gold earrings and a gorgeous gold necklace embedded with sapphires.

Jewels from archaic period to Imperial age.

So many different ways to style the hair with gold.
 
A Roman Barbie (II century).  Ivory.
From the sarcophagus of Tivoli (Via Valeria).
 
Grottarossa Mummy
discovered in 1964.

Her doll.

Her jewels. 
 


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