Roman subway construction aimed at expanding the historic city's Metro Line C came to a halt recently when archaeologists discovered what is believed to be an ancient barracks 30 feet below the city streets.
The Daily Mail reported
that the 2,000-year-old barracks, found near the planned Amba Aradam subway station, covers nearly 3,000 square feet and includes a hallway and 39 rooms with black-and-white mosaic on the floor. A grave was also found along with 13 adult skeletons as well as a bronze coin and bracelet.
"Since it's Rome, of course, anytime anyone puts a shovel in the ground, historical and archaeological remains are found," Forbes wrote
. "Today, the culture ministry announced a discovery that includes barracks and a grave potentially related to the Praetorian Guard."
"The Praetorian Guard were the elite among Roman soldiers. These were the men enlisted to protect Roman generals during the Republic, and then the Emperor during the Imperial period," stated Forbes.
The Amba Aradam Metro station was slated to start operating in 2020 after having experienced past delays. The city's archaeology head
said, though, that despite the discovery of the ancient barracks, work on the subway stop will remain on schedule.
"The area is named after the 1936 battle of Amba Aradam in which Italian fascists triumphed over Ethiopian forces in the Second Italo-Abyssinian War," wrote The Independent
. "Several other Roman garrisons have previously been found in the area."
Rome's Metro Line C has been delayed numerous times since work first started in 2007 because of other archaeological finds and funding issues, according to the Daily Mail. The subway stop was slowed in 2014 when archaeologists discovered an ancient commercial farm near St. John in Lateran Basilica.
Archaeologists found a three-pronged pitchfork, storage baskets, leather fragments that may have been from a farmhand's glove or shoe, and tracks carved into stone.
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