Temple of Serapis

The Temple of Jupiter Serapis at Puzzuoli
Naples, Italy

 The 2,000-year-old Roman temple was built near the shore, partially submerged in the sea after construction, and subsequently uplifted. The roughened area in the middle of each column shows the effect of marine rock-boring clams (Lithodomus): the dividing line and the smooth area at the bottom of each column shows how far it was buried in sediment, and not susceptible to clams. Charles Lyell used the image above as the frontispiece for his Principles of Geology (1830) to demonstrate that ongoing geological processes can have significant effects over long period of time.

The panorama below shows the marketplace in the early 21st century. The banding patterns are still visible.

Serapis panorama

Text material © 2018 by Steven M. Carr