Friday, February 18, 2005


Archaeologists have uncovered the remains of a Roman palace dating from the time of Romulus and Remus:
Traces of a royal palace discovered in the Roman Forum have been dated to roughly the period of the eternal city’s legendary foundation.

Andrea Carandini, a professor of archaeology at Rome’s Sapienza University who has been conducting excavations at the Forum for more than 20 years, said he made the discovery over the past month at the spot where the Temple of Romulus stands today.

It is next to the Sanctuary of Vesta — the Roman goddess of the hearth — just outside the Palatine walls, site of the earliest traces of civilization in Rome.

A space of regal splendor
Where previously archaeologists had only found huts dating to the 8th century B.C., Carandini and his team unearthed traces of regal splendor: A 3,700-square-foot (344-square-meter) palace, 1,130 square feet (105 square meters) of which were covered and the rest courtyard. There was a monumental entrance, and elaborate furnishings and ceramics.

It really is an extraordinary find. And, as Roman superintendent for monuments Eugenio La Rocca says, it helps give us a connection to Rome's legendary founding:
“It seems to me that what is emerging from the excavation of Carandini, who can be considered the highest authority in this field, is a very coherent archaeological reading,” La Rocca told the newspaper Il Messaggero.

“Whoever created the legend did so with the knowledge that behind it there was a historical foundation,” he told the newspaper. “That doesn’t mean the story of Romulus and Remus necessarily happened that way, but only that memory as it was handed down by the majority of the Latin writers is much more than a hypothesis.”

I've always been a believer that most myth finds its root in fact.

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