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Tarraco stone by stone

Exhibitions

10/06/2009 - 10/01/2010

Archaeological Museum

Throughout history stone has been a fundamental element for humanity. It has been used for construction (houses, fortifications, temples, roads, etc.), for artistic representation and for symbolic expression, etc. Rome was no exception to this; the cities and major infrastructures of that culture required the availability of large amounts of stone.

Tarraco is a good example. The walls, circus, theatre, amphitheatre, temples, streets, urban houses, rural villas, etc. were all built with stone quarried as close at hand as possible, within the territory itself, together with other types of stone with highly diverse qualities and origins, generally from the most prestigious Imperial quarries. Both types were used on city’s the major public projects, in private buildings, for sculptures, inscriptions, sarcophagi, etc.

The construction of Tarraco required a long process that combined pragmatism with a barely dissimulated desire to generate a prestige image.

Tarraco stone by stone aims to highlight this situation, in which material, form, function and scenographic intentionality were combined.

The application of analytical techniques borrowed from other scientific disciplines (geology, chemistry, biology, cartography, etc.), which allow us to determine the physical and chemical properties of the materials, has played an increasingly important role in archaeological research in our country in recent years.

The archaeometric study of the stone found in archaeological contexts or that used as a raw material in works of art or emblematic monuments provide us with vital information, not only for the comprehension of the archaeological site, the art or the monuments themselves, but also of the socioeconomic reasons and processes behind their use.

Stones may not talk, but we may be able to make them tell us things. We invite you to interrogate them and listen to what they have to say.
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