The third day of the "Museum Week 2018" is dedicated to the constructed or intangible heritage that represents our history and identity, so today we celebrate it in order to share the awareness of the importance of preserving our cultural monuments and sites together with all the world's cultures.
The cultural heritage of Rome is still alive and reveals surprises to us everyday. Usually, even a different weather, light or a new sight is enough to let us admire it as if it was the first time in our lives. Other times, common urban works unearth stunning archaeological discoveries. This is what is happening on the occasion of the building works for Rome third subway line C. In the last decade, many ancient findings have been dug up. Discover with us the most relevant ones.
1. Hadrian's Auditoria
On the occasion of the archaeological investigations prior to the works for the third line of the subway between 2007 and 2011, a large part of a Roman building has been rediscovered in front of the chiesa di Santa Maria di Loreto. The ancient building developed itself on two levels: the ground floor, partially conserved, was articulated in three wide halls, decorated with polychrome marbles and equipped with bleachers for the public facing a central corridor, that was destined to the orator. It probably was a public building used for cultural performances and rhetoric declamations, dating back to Hadrian period yet the supposed identification with Hadrian's Auditoria is not sure.
2. A Republican aqueduct
At the end of the year 2016, the archaeological investigations lasted two years and carried out at piazza Celimontana on the Caelian hill, on the occasion of the building works for the subway line connecting the Colosseum to the basilica di San Giovanni in Laterano, were completed. As a result, a segment of an underground aqueduct 32 meters at least long, 1.30 meters large and about 2 meters high was discovered: the architectural remains are characterized by the building technique called “opus quadratum” and it has been dated around the middle 3rd century BC. Notwithstanding that the dating period could suggests the identification with the “Anio Vetus”, the only aqueduct known so far, it has been more likely recognized as a branch of the “Aqua Appia”.
3. The "House of Commander"
In the site of the Amba Aradam subway station, an ancient Roman domus connected to a military barrack, dating back to the 2nd century AD, have been uncovered in 2016. The complex, built with a refined architectural technique, is characterized by more than 30 rooms articulated along a corridor and decorated with wall paintings and mosaic floors.
4. The great water reservoir
The discovery in the area of San Giovanni subway station of the greatest water reservoir ever found in the whole Roman countryside was made public at the end of the year 2014. Dating back to the Imperial period, the ancient basin measured around 35 meters for 70 meters and, covered with earthenware, it could conserve more than 4 million liters of water.
5. The funerary spaces
The investigation carried out in spring 2016 in the area of Parco di Centocelle subway station have allowed to identify the remains of an ancient street plan and two ancient spaces, probably destined to funerary functions, one of them recognized as a columbarium. All the structures are characterized by the building technique called “opus reticolatum” and were entirely decorated with colored plasters, as the several fragments that have been found suggest. The ancient urns, located inside the niches, contained in some cases only the grave goods, in other cases they included bones remains.