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January 13, 2011

"Colosseum" (video review)

Colosseum (Flavian Amphitheater), Rome, Italy, 70-82 CE
© Edward Olencki

Secrets of Lost Empires: Colosseum
A NOVA production

NOVA presents the latest exploration of theories on the Colosseum and its long lost roof. In a bullring in Barcarrota, Spain architectural historian Rainer Graefe and structural engineer Chris Wise conduct an experiment to test their ideas. Using materials contemporary to the Colosseum (with a few adjustments and substitutes where necessary), they base their recreations upon images of the Colosseum depicted on coins, evidence of a roof at a Roman arena in Nîmes, and frescoes of an arena with a canvas roof in Pompeii. Presenting the technicalities and difficulties they come across in their construction process, they compare them to similar challenges Roman engineers potentially dealt with. In the end Graefe and Wise construct two canvas roofs with different rope, mast and beam structures in an engaging attempt to come to a closer understanding of the roof of the Colosseum.

This video is among the many available to borrow from the Visual Resources Center in the Art, Architecture and Engineering Library. Search for videos in Mirlyn or in our video database.

Posted by rmassare at January 13, 2011 10:00 AM


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