There was walking.
Anyway, after doing as much as I could for a few days in Rome (some of which I'll perhaps one day get around to blogging about too), I collected the rental car that I'd booked well in advance, and headed to a new base in the outskirts, from which I could drive out to my research sites. The most northerly of these was Roman Cosa, nowadays in the village of Ansedonia. You can see both the modern Ansedonia and Roman Cosa in the map. The latter is the area in the dead centre. You can click through to rotate and tilt the landscape to better make out the features of the site.
Cosa was a Roman colony (Latin colonia) established in 273 BCE on land taken from the Etruscans (who probably held the nearby site at Orbetello). It's purpose should be quite clear to anyone who's hauled their way up to it. Cosa is right at the top of the headland, and affords spectacular views. To the South, the sweeping bay, a crucial and valuable natural harbour. To the East, the land sweeps away to that of the potentially hostile Etruscan cities, who still held their independence at the time of Cosa's foundation.
This is the archaeological plan of the site:
|Plan of Cosa on a public graphic onsite. Image taken: 2013-09-23. |
(C) Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Cosa and others.