Thursday, January 10, 2008

The rediscovery of Rome
Italian archaeologists relish a good argument and they are being kept busy by some startling discoveries that could shed more light on the origins of Rome. These include the lost “lupercal”, the cave where, as legend tells it, the she-wolf suckled the city’s founders Romulus and Remus. Just outside the city, meanwhile, archaeologists are also pondering the significance of a new pattern of Etruscan tombs and its implications for the older civilisation’s erosion by encroaching Rome.

It was during recent routine restoration and consolidation work on the ruins of Emperor Augustus’s house on the slopes of Rome’s Palatine Hill that sounding devices suddenly detected a large void 16 metres below present ground level. A camera probe then revealed a curved roof of some kind of temple-grotto. So rich was the decoration, decorated with mosaics and shells arranged in ever-smaller concentric circles around a central panel with a large white eagle – the symbol of Rome – on a pale blue background, that it could only be a place of huge significance.

Mostly a review of recent findings.