Archaeological Campaigns below the Florence...

Book Details

Author  Franklin Toker
Publisher  Brepols Publishers
Publication Date   December 15, 2012
ISBN  1905375522
Pages  350

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The cathedral or Duomo of S. Maria del Fiore in Florence ranks with the Parthenon in Athens, the Pantheon in Rome, Istanbul's Hagia Sofia, Chartres cathedral, St. Peter's, the Eiffel Tower, and Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater as the most influential buildings of western architecture. Fitting to their status as modern masterpieces, the Eiffel Tower and Fallingwater were built on sites where nothing had stood before; but the Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Gothic, and Renaissance masterpieces on the list all stand over predecessor structures that greatly influenced their shape and function. We are well informed about the predecessor structures for each key building except--until recently--the Florence Duomo. A basilica dedicated to St. Reparata supposedly lay in ruins below S. Maria del Fiore, and the adjoining Baptistery was allegedly reworked from a Roman temple to Mars, but without archaeological excavations or a detailed study of literary sources, little sense could be made of those traditions. That uncertainty changed with the Florence Duomo excavations of 1965-1980 and the ensuing analysis of its structures, artifacts, and surviving texts.The Florence Duomo Project is a study of everything that preceded, and still lies beneath, S. Maria del Fiore and its Baptistery. These four volumes interweave church liturgy, field archaeology, art history, and social and political history to give the Florence Duomo (and, in some cases, early medieval Florence itself) the context that until now it lacked. This second volume, Archaeological Campaigns below the Florence Duomo and Baptistery, 1895-1980, gives order to the virtual encyclopedia of medieval art and architecture found below both buildings: mosaics, frescoes, tomb sculptures, armor, ceramics, the extensive layouts of a Roman house and an Early Christian basilica and its Carolingian and Romanesque rebuildings.

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