The Getty Villa
Date: Wednesday, November 30, 2011
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Location: Getty Villa, Auditorium

Mosaic floor / Pizza Armerina, Sicily
 
The fourth-century Roman villa near Piazza Armerina in central Sicily was discovered in 1761 yet excavated mainly between 1950 and 1955, when the full splendor of the mansion was revealed to an astonished world. No other late Roman villa in the Mediterranean rivals it for the number and variety of its polychrome mosaic pavements, both geometric and figured. These mosaics, along with marble wall decoration, statuary, and running fountains, give a remarkably vivid insight into the tastes and predilections of the wealthy owner that commissioned it. Close parallels with the mosaics of Roman North Africa make it certain that the floors were laid not by Sicilian craftsmen but by African mosaicists, probably based in Carthage.

Professor Roger Wilson from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada summarizes the present state of knowledge about the site, discusses the many and varied theories about the identity of the owner, and presents the results of fresh excavations conducted by the University of Rome and of the ongoing restoration program. Wilson sets the villa in context against the background of other recent work on late Roman millionaires' luxury rural retreats elsewhere in the Roman Empire.

About Roger Wilson
Roger Wilson is professor of the archaeology of the Roman Empire, and director of the Centre for the Study of Ancient Sicily, at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada. A graduate of the University of Oxford, he also has taught at the University of Dublin and the University of Nottingham. He has directed excavations in Britain and Sicily and written widely on the Roman archaeology of Italy, north Africa, Germany, and Britain, with a special emphasis on Sicily. His books include Guide to the Roman Remains in Britain, Piazza Armerina, Sicily under the Roman Empire, Roman Maryport and its Setting, and Roman Germany: Studies in Cultural Interaction. He is founding editor of a new book series, "University of British Columbia Studies in the Ancient World," and a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.

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Planning your visit
The main gate on Pacific Coast Highway opens to ticketed guests at 6:00 p.m. The auditorium opens at 7:00 p.m., and seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The galleries and Museum Store will be open before and after the lecture. A selection of light dinner fare as well as beer and wine are available for purchase at the Café until 7:30 p.m. Complimentary refreshments will be served following the lecture.


How to Get Here
The Getty Villa is located at 17985 Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, California, approximately 25 miles west of downtown Los Angeles. See Hours, Directions, Parking for directions and parking information.