Pillaging Italy's precious historyBreaking News
"I almost had a heart attack," says Casasanta, one of Italy's most successful tombaroli, or tomb robbers. "I knew I had discovered something very beautiful and very valuable."
Casasanta, his son and an associate working a small Caterpillar power shovel were digging in broad daylight at an archeological site east of Rome called l'Inviolata. He discovered the temple site in 1970, when he pulled 63 statues, illegally, from the earth. But none compared to his find 22 years later.
The first to emerge from the dirt was the goddess Minerva, followed by Juno and then Jupiter. The most powerful gods of the Roman pantheon sat together in a six-tonne marble sculpture — the only example ever found in which the gods of the Triad, a symbol of state power in ancient Rome, are intact.
Casasanta whisked what is now known as the Capitoline Triad to his antiquities shop in Rome. He cleaned it, crated it, and sold it to a Geneva collector for $3 million (U.S.).
comments powered by Disqus
- At Brandis the Afro-American studies faculty is siding with student protesters
- NYT's Notable Books of 2015: These are the history books that made the cut
- Petition signed by 44,000 to add more female thinkers to the Politics A Level syllabus in the UK
- Most Students Have No Clue What Accurate Native American History Looks Like
- Historians Re-Enter Presidential Studies