After five years of excavations on the Palatine Hill in Rome, archaeologists were able to uncover the discovery of a luxurious banquet hall dating back to around the first or second century BC.
that it Italian Ministry of Culture Who last week shared news of the amazing discovery.
The room is estimated to be about 2,300 years old, and is part of a larger aristocratic palace.
The building is located underground near the Roman Forum, and has been under excavation since 2018.
Surprise with a special wall
The banquet room is described as intact, and in particular, one wall in the hall, covered in mosaics, receives much attention.
The wall is approximately five meters long and is depicted with mythical creatures, vines, lotus leaves and more. The Italian Ministry of Culture wrote that mother-of-pearl, shells, coral and marble were used in the decoration.
– What makes this discovery “unparalleled” is not only the amazing preservation of the mosaics, but their decorations, which also contain festive scenes, says archaeologist Alfonsina Russo to the Italian Ministry of Culture.
Rousseau is the head of the Colosseum Archaeological Park, and was chiefly responsible for the excavations.
The mosaic images surprised the team working on the project. From a coastal town with a watchtower, to scenes of sailing ships with their sails raised, along with images of mythical sea monsters swallowing enemy fleets.
This 25-square-meter ballroom is just one room in the “domus,” the Latin word for home, says Russo. CNN.
– In ancient times, when powerful noble families lived on the Palatine Hill, it was common to use rich decorative items as a symbol to show that a person was wealthy and had a high social rank, she says.
Russo says they found lead pipes embedded in the decorative walls, delivering water to ponds or creating fountains.
That’s why it’s so well preserved
These banquet rooms were not just a place where hosts and guests went to relax, but were also used by the palace owner as a hangout, says Marco Rossi, professor of Roman archeology and head of the Mosaic Laboratory at Roma Tre University. A reflection of their wealth and status.
At the same time, he explains why the wall is in such good condition, 2,300 years after it was built.
The mosaics are usually found on the floor, but they cover the entire front wall and have been incredibly preserved. The wall was not damaged by debris and soil, which can happen with mosaics on the floor. Rossi points out that such a discovery is extremely rare.
Although this new discovery still holds many secrets to be revealed, Rousseau believes they may be able to solve more of them.
She believes, among other things, that the owner of the house was a member of the Roman Senate.
– The person was so wealthy that he was able to import such precious materials from all over the empire to decorate this palace. “We have not yet found anything that could shed light on their identity, but we believe that further research could enable us to find the noble family,” she says.
Russo and her team aim to open the site to the public in early January 2024.
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