When we learned about the two-thousand-year-old Ara Pacis altar in Rome, we wanted to take a look. The Ara Pacis was constructed in 13 B.C. for the Roman Goddess of Peace, and to honor Augustus’ return from Spain and Gaul. Augustus was the founder of the Roman Empire and was the first Emperor. The Ara Pacis was used for sacrifices to the gods. It was originally built on Via Flamina, but due to repeated flooding of the Tiber, the altar became buried beneath deposits of lime over the area. It was lost and forgotten over time until it was discovered and excavated. In 1938, the archaeologist Giuseppe Moretti reconstructed the altar. And because of its now more modern location, it needed protection from traffic, exhaust fumes, overheating, humidity, and other natural elements that could ruin the altar. A protective building was built to provide the altar necessary cover with all the right conditions and climate. And it was then moved near the Mausoleum of Augustus. Now, this protective building also serves as a museum for people to visit.
After learning about the Ara Pacis and Augustus, we analyzed the altar’s walls and interior. You could see the area of reconstruction, where the pieces have been reassembled. Some of the parts were missing and other parts found by archaeologists were never pieced together as they couldn’t figure out where it went. Those pieces are stand-alone parts that are displayed in the museum. I’d have to say it’s an impressive reconstruction, and it’s an amazing structure. It looks good for how old it is. I’m glad they did a good job preserving this piece of ancient work.