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Gino Vinicio Gentili

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Title: Gino Vinicio Gentili  
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Subject: Villa Romana del Casale
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Gino Vinicio Gentili

Gino Vinicio Gentili (Osimo, 27 September 1914 - Bologna, 29 July 2006) was an Italian archaeologist.


He earned his degree in Fine Arts and Letters at the University of Rome La Sapienza and graduated in Archaeology at the Italian School of Archaeology in Rome. He earned a Doctorate in Archaeology and in History of Greek and Roman arts, first at the University of Catania and later at the University of Bologna, where he taught Etruscology and ancient Italy's art.

In 1945 he was elected mayor of Osimo. He was also an official in the administration of the Antiquities and Fine Arts of the Ministry of Education and Chief Inspector and Superintendent of Antiquities for Eastern Sicily (1946 to 1963) and for Emilia-Romagna. In 1973 he was awarded the Gold Medal of Civic Merit by the municipality of Osimo "for having paid tribute to the city with the brightest fame acquired in the field of archaeology, and especially for his valuable and irreplaceable contribution to the knowledge of the past in Osimo". In 1979 he retired from his official position, and continued his work in research.

Major works and researches

In 1959-60, Gino Vinicio Gentili excavated a mosaic on the floor of the room, later dubbed the "Chamber of the Ten Maidens", at the Villa Romana del Casale near Piazza Armerina. Informally called "the bikini girls", the maidens appear in a mosaic artwork which scholars named "Coronation of the Winner". The young women perform sports including weight-lifting, discus throwing, running and ball-games. A woman in a rich dress is depicted with a crown in her hand; one of the maidens holds a palm frond. The Villa in 1997 became a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Explorations and archaeological research conducted by Gentili include:

  • Identification of the great Ionic temple of Syracuse
  • Researches in the Roman amphitheatre in Syracuse
  • Discovery of a small Byzantine basilica at Santa Croce Camerina
  • Exploration of archaic funerary monuments in Syracuse and recovery of the great statue of a "Mother" Kourotrophos in the site of Megara Hyblaea at Augusta
  • Identification near Mineo of the ancient Sicilian center of Palik√®
  • Early excavations at Naxos, the first Greek colony in Sicily, near Messina
  • Discovery of a Roman villa of the early Roman Empire in San Biagio di Castroreale Bagni
  • Researches in the Etruscan town of Marzabotto
  • Identification of the Etruscan town Spina in the province of Ferrara
  • Discovery of valuable Roman mosaics in Faenza, Sarsina and Rimini and of remains of Byzantine basilicas in Ravenna.
  • A series of excavations of prehistoric culture in Verucchio, recovering burial objects of Villanovan culture (8th-7th century B.C.) and others from the Sabellians (5th-4th century circa B.C.). He brought to light an exceptionally well-preserved artifact, the "throne" with scenes relating to the processing of wool, along with finely carved wooden items, now in the Museo Civico Archeologico di Bologna.

Gino Vinicio Gentili is the author of essays about his researches at Piazza Armerina, Verucchio, Osimo.

External links

  • Villa Romana of Casale.(Italian)
  • Some photos of Villa Romana del Casale
  • Villa romana del Casale: the "bikini girls"
  • The "Mother" found in Megara Hyblaea
  • The wooden "throne" found in Verucchio
  • An article about the death of Gino Vinicio Gentili ("Giornale di Sicilia",4 August 2006)
  • An article from "La Repubblica di Palermo", 8 August 2006
  • Regione Marche: remembering Gino Vinicio Gentili
  • Comune di Osimo: offering a book in memory of Gino Vinicio Gentili
  • Municipality of Piazza Armerina instituting a prize in memory of Gino Vinicio Gentili
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  • Archeological Museum of Marzabotto.

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