In Brief

Work on Rome’s New Metro Line Unearths Ornate 2nd-Century Military Residence

Complete with marble floors, mosaics, and frescoes, the Hadrian-era house was found nearly 40 feet beneath the Amba Aradam station.

The newly discovered “commander’s house” was found while digging Rome’s Metro C subway line (image via beniculturali.gov.it)

In the summer of 2016, while digging the new Metro C subway line in Rome, workers came across a rare archeological find, a 2nd-century CE Roman barracks. Late last week, archeologists uncovered the remains of a “commander’s house” (domus) connected to the barracks, “the first discovery of its kind in the Italian capital,” according to the Agenzia Nazionale Stampa Associata (ANSA).

Complete with marble floors, mosaics, and frescoes, the Hadrian-era house was found 12 meters (~39 feet) under the Amba Aradam station, close to the Basilica of San Giovanni Laterano. “We think this is where the barracks’ commander used to live and relax after work,” the head of Rome’s monuments authority, Francesco Prosperetti, told journalists during an on-site press conference, reports the Deutsche Presse-Agentur (DPA). Measuring 300 square meters (~3,200 square feet), the house contains 14 separate rooms, including a “bathhouse with underfloor heating.”

The house will be dismantled piece by piece and temporarily moved, before returning to its original location and incorporated into the new metro station, which “will surely become the most beautiful metro station in the world,” Prosperetti told reporters.

The newly discovered “commander’s house” was found while digging Rome’s Metro C subway line (image via beniculturali.gov.it)
The newly discovered “commander’s house” was found while digging Rome’s Metro C subway line (image via beniculturali.gov.it)
Mosaic from the newly discovered “commander’s house,” found while digging Rome’s Metro C subway line (image via beniculturali.gov.it)
Mosaic from the newly discovered “commander’s house,” found while digging Rome’s Metro C subway line (image via beniculturali.gov.it)
Mosaic from the newly discovered “commander’s house,” found while digging Rome’s Metro C subway line (image via beniculturali.gov.it)
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