Ancient Rome may have been much larger than originally believed, according to recent archaeological findings.
In an excavation area on Quirinal Hill, researchers have discovered a well-preserved rectangular residence they say dates back to the 6th century BC, complete with wooden beams, clay-covered walls and a roof, and what archaeologists say are clues that prove it was used for domestic purposes.
The hill was previously believed to have been used as a sacred area, with temples and a necropolis, while the city’s residential part was thought to be further south where the Roman Forum is located. Today, the Quirinal Hill is home to the Italian president’s official residence.
“From the materials used we can deduce that it’s an important dwelling dating back to 6th century BC, a truly archaic period, very rare in Rome,” says Francesco Prosperetti, superintendent for Rome’s Archaeological Heritage, who says the finding is considered to be among the most important of the last 10 years.
The dwelling is located near a fifth-century temple discovered in 2013. According to the director of the excavation, Mirella Serlorenzi, the position of the house near the temple hints at it being a sacred area, and that whoever lived there was watching over it. But most importantly, she says, is that it allows historians to retro-date the urbanization of the Quirinal zone, and indicates that Rome at the beginning of the sixth century was much larger than expected and not closed in around the Forum.
While the excavations are scheduled to continue for several more months, there is uncertainty as to what will happen after they have been completed, as the palazzo is privately owned. http://www.newhistorian.com/ancient-6th-century-home-found-under-roman-palazzo/4800/