The ancient art of opus sectile, or "cut inlay"—the ancestor of the Italian commesso di pietre dure—was revived in Rome in the mid-sixteenth century, albeit in a new form. All the stones used for works of art decorated in this fashion were of ancient origin. Many of them came from the Baths of Caracalla, where excavations began in the 1540s, initiated by the art patron Cardinal Alessandro Farnese. There were other "harvesting" sites within Rome or in the ruins at Ostia Antica, the harbor city of imperial Rome, where the famous architect Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola went in 1547 "to get colored marbles for the [Farnese] Palace." For Renaissance artists and their high-ranking patrons, such stones represented the remnants of the opulence of ancient Rome—the capital of a vanished empire—and their reuse must have seemed to be physical proof that Rome was indeed the Eternal City. Pieces of ancient hardstones and marble were recut and assembled into sophisticated, nonfigural designs used to decorate wall revetments and tabletops. Learned humanist architects were mostly responsible for creating patterns that "literally" came down from the walls or were elevated from the pavement onto polychrome tabletops and other sumptuous furnishings. The decor would evolve—like papal Rome itself—into an ostentatious display of wealth and power during the Baroque period.