Room III.3, the relief with a wind head
Applique del Vento di Nord-Est, Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Aquileia | Foto: © Gianluca Baronchelli
In 1988 a series of investigations conducted in the Forum identified a well. Inside was found an applique with a bearded virile head in bronze, with pointed ears and parted lips, stretched in the effort of the breath. It would be the personification of a wind, probably Borea, Bora, whose icy breath disrupts Istria and north-eastern Italy.
The relief with a wind head represents a work of great value dating back to the second half of the second century BC, used as a decorative element for a building or structure linked to the forum, but perhaps also to the port.
That of the wind head represents an exceptional find, since it is very rare to find traces of bronze, a material widely used in decorative apparatuses, but very often recast and recycled for other uses.
The excellent conservation conditions of the artifact, which probably belonged to the decoration of a public building, are due to the fact that it was intentionally thrown inside the well. The relief, obtained from a single fusion with the lost wax technique, is to be considered, for the elegance and attention to detail finished with chisel and burin, an extraordinary example of Hellenistic tradition craftsmanship, datable between the end of the 1st century BC and the beginning of the 1st century AD.