Wednesday, March 14, 2018

ROME'S EXCAVATION ON SUBWAY HAS UNCOVERED NEW ROMAN RUINS FROM 2ND CENTURY



Two years after a second-century military barracks was found during the excavation of the Amba Aradam station, archaeologists last week presented the remains of a richly decorated domus, or house, that they believe belonged to the commander of the military post. Even after the discovery of the military complex, “we didn’t imagine that we’d find a house with a central courtyard,” a fountain and at least 14 rooms, said Simona Morretta, the state archaeologist responsible for the site. One of the rooms appears to have been heated.

The foundation of another structure, equal in size but far less opulent, was also excavated at the same level, some 40 feet below the surface. Archaeologists believe it was probably used as a warehouse. Ms. Morretta said the domus was remarkably well-preserved. “The decorations were mainly intact, both the patterned mosaic floors and the frescoed walls,” she said.

The walls of the domus had been leveled at a height of five feet and the rooms filled in with dirt, suggesting that it had been intentionally buried during the third century, just before the Roman Emperor Aurelian began building the protective walls that would encircle the city, in 271 A.D.

The excavation also unearthed rare wooden artifacts, such as wood forms used to build foundations, as well as beams. “You normally don’t find wood remains in Rome,” Ms. Morretta noted, but with the subway lines traveling at nearly 100 feet below ground, archaeologists have been able to excavate deeper than usual.

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