- Ancient Rome has yielded its deepest secret - one that
coincides with the legend of the city's foundation. Seven metres under
the ruins of imperial Rome's Forum, Professor Andrea Carandini has discovered
the remains of an immense building, covering 345 square metres, which he
believes to be the palace of Rome's first kings.
- He has dated a section of flooring near by to 753BC -
when, according to legend, the city was founded by Romulus on seven hills.
Until now, historians have maintained that Rome's history could not be
traced further back than the 4th or 5th century BC.
- Professor Carandini's discovery, trailed in Il Messaggero
newspaper, will be unveiled at a conference in Florence at the weekend.
He will reveal that the centrepiece of the palace was an enormous banquet
hall with walls of wood and clay and a tiled roof decorated with fine ceramics.
"This palace endured at least until AD64, in other words for eight
centuries," Professor Carandini said.
- With the end of the Roman monarchy it became the abode
of the Rex sacrorum, the sacred king, surviving until the first empire.
- The archaeologist also claims to have identified the
house of the vestal virgins, the priestesses who attended the Roman kings,
and the fireplace where they tended the sacred fire.
- ©2005 Independent News & Media (UK) Ltd.