Ray Laurence, Professor of Roman History and Archaeology in the Department of Classical & Archaeological Studies, appeared in Channel 4’s documentary Rome’s Sunken Secrets on Sunday 16 April 2017.
Rome’s Sunken Secrets tells the story of the submerged Roman Holiday retreat Baiae, where Emperors and the super-rich enjoyed lavish parties, sought out love affairs and plotted against their political rivals. The documentary follows a series of dives led by underwater archaeologist Dr Barbara Davidde and involving historians and scientists from across the world. They revealed vast villas, priceless statues and breath taking mosaics, as well as heated spas, cobbled streets and even a nymphaeum grotto of pleasure in the city that lies 150 miles south of Rome and 50 north of Pompeii.
In the programme, Ray comments: ‘What is truly amazing about Baiae, as you go under water is you can see every part of the villa landscape. You can see the marble which was used, well preserved mosaics and the size of the rooms. The full villa landscape is preserved under the sea, which is so unusual and is almost unheard of.’
The programme is available to watch on Channel 4’s On Demand service.