The Surgeon’s House

The Surgeon’s House

The Surgeon’s House

The Surgeon’s House

Since December 2007 the archaeological site has been open to the public and is part of the Museum, comprising more than 700 square metres dedicated to telling 2000 years of the city's history. The most importantant was that of a habitation of imperial times (that is today called the domus "of the surgeon" owing to the profession of its last owner) which, as revealed by the over 150 surgical instrurnents brought to light, also included a taberna medica (doctor's surgery).

If the public character of the city is reflected by its monuments, the houses describe the private life of a society which had  undergone profound changes  in eight centuries under Roman rule.

The most important fìnd was that of a habitation of imperial times (that is today called the domus "of the surgeon" owing to the profession of its last owner) which, as revealed by the over 150 surgical instrurnents brought to light, also included a taberna medica (doctor's surgery).

Destroyed by a fire in the middle of the third century that developed on the heels of the first barbarian invasions, the domus revealed, among the wreckage of the collapse, structures, mosaics, plasterwork and furnishings that offer a "photograph" of life in ancient Rimini.

Mosaics and masonry; in part still covered with colourful frescoes, are expressive of a residence for private and professional use, with a clinic, the taberna medica, paved with elegant, polychrome mosaics and featuring a representation of Orpheus in the centre. The collapse that sealed the environment preserved an exceptional surgical­ pharmaceutical trove, the richest from antiquity.

That the history of the site did not end with the devastating fire is demonstrated by the remains of an late-antique palatial residence built in the fifth century on top of the front section of the domus: the polychrome mosaics featuring elaborate designs and the heating system of some of the spaces testify to the wealth of the wealth of the residence, the life of which was extinguished in the sixth century A.U.

Later the site was destined as a burial area, as documented by a nucleus of tombs; probably in the seventh century, the western zone was involved in a new construction using poor (wood and mud) and re-used materials. The destruction of this final edifice, in the early Middle Ages, probably gave way to an open area.

The Archaeological Section of the nearby City Museum dedicates a special space to the domus "of the surgeon'': here you can enter the taberna medica, reconstructed on a scale close to that of the original, and admire the most important remains discovered among the wreckage from the collapse.

The glass panel that decorated the triclinium is astonishing, a rare and precious wall hanging (in Greek called a pinax) from the Hellenistic tradition and very similar to an exemplar made in Corinth in the middle of the third century: in the central disk, on the blue of the sea, there are mosaic representations of a bream, a mackerel and a dolphin inserted in a carved glass plate. Now on display right before our eyes is the exceptional surgical-pharmaceutical trove: among the more than one hundred and fifty bronze tools are groups soldered together by the heat of the blaze.

Alongside scalpels, probes, tweezers and orthodontic tongs, there are also a tong for bone surgery, an iron for the removal of bladder stones, a drill with moveable arms, and an orthopaedic lever. Next are large stone mortar and pestles, useful for the grinding of herbs and minerals when preparing pharmaceuticals. Especially curious is a foot-shaped hollow vessel, a variation on a hot water bottle or ice pack, and no less interesting are the little containers that bear pharmaceutical instructions, written in Greek and Latin.

SCHEDULE

Wintertimes opening hours:
10th september - 31st may - from 08:30 to 13:00 from 16:00 to 19:00
Sunday from 10:00 to 12:30 from 15:00 to 19:00
Bank holidays from 10:00 to 12:30 from 15:00 to 19:00
Closing day in winter: Monday Summer opening hours:
1st june - 9th september - from 14:00 to 23:00
Tuesdayfrom 10:00 to 12:30 from 14:00 to 23:00
Thursdayfrom 10:00 to 12:30 from 14:00 to 23:00
Sundayfrom 17:00 to 23:00
Bank holidaysfrom 17:00 to 23:00
Closing day in summer: Monday

INFO

First Sunday of the month and Wednesdays free admission
Accessible to disabled guests

Museum Contact details
Phone: (+39) 0541 704421, (+39) 0541 704426, (+39) 0541 7938

ADDRESS

Piazza Luigi Ferrari
RIMINI

HOW TO GET

How to go to the city center
by car: Motorway A14 "Rimini Sud" Exit; straight ahead direction Rimini centro for about 3 km.
by train: from the railway station straight ahead (v.le Dante)
by air: bus n.9 - bus stop Arco d' Augusto or Railway Station (buses and timetable)