The Velia excavation in 1932 and the exhibition 1932, l’elefante e il colle perduto
In the conference that opens the new cycle of I martedì da Traiano, the curators of the exhibition 1932, l’elefante e il colle perduto illustrate their work.
The reason for the exhibition, how the exhibition layout was defined and how the objects to be exhibited were chosen, through to the new acquisitions that the research carried out on this occasion has produced, without forgetting the many aspects related to communication and educational activities.
The exhibition starts with the restoration of a palaeontological find that had risen to great fame at the time of its discovery in 1932, only to remain hidden from the public and scholars for more than eighty years: the skull and left defence (tusk) of an ancient elephant - Elephas (Palaeoloxodon) Antiquus - found at the base of the Velia hill during the excavations carried out to build Via dell'Impero, today's Via dei Fori Imperiali.
Only in 2021, in anticipation of the exhibition Science in Rome. Past, Present and Future of a City held at the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Rome, the remains of the elephant were restored and displayed to the public.
After this occasion, it was necessary to propose a framing of the discovery of the elephant within the long history of Velia, with an exhibition recounting the different phases of its occupation from antiquity to modern times. This project has been realised with the current exhibition, which presents archaeological, historical-artistic and archive material all pertaining to the Sovrintendenza Capitolina, who holds the heritage from the destruction of this unfortunate hill.
Nicoletta Bernacchio is Art Historian Curator for the Sovrintendenza Capitolina at the Ufficio Fori Imperiali, with the assignment of Promotion and Development of the Medieval and Modern Age Archaeological and Artistic Heritage of the monumental complex. She is graduate and specialist in Medieval Art History from the Sapienza University of Rome, where she obtained her PhD in Art History. She is the author of studies on the post-antique artistic and architectural heritage of the Area dei Fori Imperiali. She is co-curator of several exhibitions dedicated to these historical phases and set up in the Museo dei Fori Imperiali: I Fori dopo i Fori (2017); Napoleone e il mito di Roma (2021); 1932, l'elefante e il colle perduto (2022).
Isabella Damiani PhD in Archaeology (Prehistory) has been in charge since 2019 of the technical-scientific coordination and management of museum services in archaeological museums.
Among the various activities carried out at the Capitoline Superintendence, she is co-curator of several exhibitions of an archaeological nature realised by the Archaeological Museums/Civic Museums Department at the Musei Capitolini and in the Museo dei Fori Imperiali: La Roma dei Re. Il racconto dell'archeologia (2018), 1932, l'elefante e il colle perduto (2022), Cursus Honorum. Il governo di Roma prima di Cesare (2022), La Roma della Repubblica. Il racconto dell'archeologia (2023).
Stefania Fogagnolo, an archaeologist, graduated and specialised in Topography of Rome and Ancient Italy at the Sapienza University of Rome, where she also obtained a PhD in Archaeology. After a long activity in emergency archaeological excavations and research, particularly in the area of the historic centre of Rome, she has been working for several years in the Sovrintendenza Capitolina at the Ufficio dei Mercati di Traiano-Fori Imperiali, for which she supervised the excavation of Via Alessandrina and Largo Corrado Ricci. She is the author of several scientific and popular publications. She is co-curator of the exhibition in the Museo dei Fori Imperiali: 1932, the elephant and the lost hill (2022).
Massimiliano Munzi curator Cultural Heritage of the Sovrintendenza Capitolina, is in charge of the Service Coordination and Technical-Scientific Management of the valorisation activities in the Archaeological Museums within the Archaeological and Historical-Artistic Museums Department. He is a graduate of the Sapienza University of Rome, where he obtained his PhD in Classical Archaeology, specialising at the University of Pisa. He has conducted archaeological excavations and reconnaissance in Italy, Jordan and Libya. Author of texts on excavations, archaeological reconnaissances, epigraphy, numismatics, history of archaeology, archaeology of conflicts, he is co-curator of the exhibitions Napoleone e il mito di Roma (2021); 1932, l'elefante e il colle perduto (2022); Domiziano imperatore. Odio e amore (2022).
Valentina Musella, archaeologist, graduated and specialised in Phoenician-Punic Archaeology at the Sapienza University of Rome. She has followed several excavation campaigns in Sicily and Rome and is the author of several scientific publications. She currently works at the Ufficio dei Mercati di Traiano-Fori Imperiali of the Sovrintendenza Capitolina.
The conferences will be followed by a visit to the exhibition 1932, l’elefante e il colle perduto
The conferences are recorded and put online on the FB page of the Mercati di Traiano the following week
January 24 at 15.30, duration 90' (1h conference + 30' visit to the exhibition)
Participation with payment of the entrance ticket according to the current rates
Reservation required on 060608 (every day 9.00-19.00)
Maximum 30 participants