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Current time:0:00Total duration:2:28

Video transcript

we know that when archeologists look for traces of ancient cultures they dig down and we often read about how the ancient ground level was much lower so how did this happen what gets layered on top of ancient cultures well people back then are like us today every action that we take everything that we do everything that we've purchased we're going to leave something behind there's going to be a trace the Romans were ultimately very efficient so they said oftentimes if there's destruction from a fire let's level off those buildings make the ground floor into the basement or simply level off the building and put all that rubble around smooth it and we now have the foundations for later structures so Romans didn't necessarily look at their cities after disasters fires floods earthquakes the way that we do so after Katrina in the United States we dig it out but for the Romans that's too much effort why are you going to haul that material away just level off and Jack your city up to a higher level so standing here in the forum we notice we go down into the forum and we look up at the streets around us so are we at an ancient ground level now yeah and even beneath this are several other layers of ancient Rome so we'd go down another 20 feet to get to the archaic layers in every monument that you see has a precedent like this is the Basilica Julia this is built after a fire in 283 ad it replaces the one that's burnt down that was built by Julius Caesar and completed by Augustus it in turn replaced a second century BC Basilica it in turn replaced early Republican houses so you've got layer upon layer upon layer so how do archaeologists make the decision when to stop digging feels like you could dig and just go further back in history so you're looking for opportunities to go down further such as zombies put a cut in the floor that allows you then to go down to an earlier level on what they end up mostly satisfying themselves with for the form Piazza today what you see is largely on the Augustan to 2nd century ad levels but there are many opportunities throughout the area of the Roman Forum where they could go down to earlier and earlier levels so finding places to do that where you don't destroy what is existing now that you exactly thanks thank you you
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