Wine Containers Contain Address Or Ben Hur's Unbestie

 


It's a few thousand years late, but now we can finally threaten Ben Hur's  old nemesis, Marcus Valerius Messella Corvinus, with the classic, “I know where you live,” thanks to the discovery of ancient wine vats.
 
“Researchers have now found five dolia – earthenware vases that could hold up to 1,500 liters of wine – with markings that suggest they belonged to the Roman general,” International Business Times reporter Hannah Osborne wrote in a story this past week.
 
While Ben Hur himself was a fictional character created for the eponymous film in which a bronzed Charlton Heston famously charioted-up behind four white horses, his archenemy in the movie, Messella, was a real historical figure, Osborne said.
 
The discovery is somewhat important because, more than just being the on-screen counterpart to Heston's award-winning performance, Messella' family was high-society, Osborne said.
 
“His villa, once a magnificent estate, was known as Villa Le Grotte and overlooked the sea of Portoferraio's bay,” Osborne said.
 
The Discovery Channel's news site reported the find about two weeks ago. Their story featured a photograph of Messella old digs – the curb appeal, is, shall we say, scant. 
 
Ankle-high weeds and grass creep up from terraced earth where a series of walls hint that space used to be a residence.
Messella' dilapidated home had two thing in its favor in the Discovery story – first, as the photograph shows, the home had sea views; second, the photograph held up a drawing which showed what the home may have looked like back in its prime.
 
The drawing features a U-shaped outdoor patio with expertly crated columns and, in the middle, a sizable pool able to cool the rage of even the angriest gladiator.
 
Though the property is only a shadow of what it once was, archaeologist Franco Cambi and his team were excited to about the find.
 
“We were looking for ancient furnaces used in the production of iron, but we ended up with a surprising finding,” Cambi said in the Discovery story.
 
According to Discovery, Cambi was excavating an area below the villa when he came across the vases. The scientist said it was clear the area below the vases served as a farm for Messella' villa.
 
Discovery said Messella liked to spend his free time outside of his villa, preferably on the battlefield where, in 31 B.C., he was a commander in a battle against Mark Antony and Cleopatra.

Photo credit: Pixabay

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