A fascinating ancient burial discovered near Rome

2300-year-old untouched grave recently discovered in the suburbs of Rome (Italy)
Credits: Soprintendenza Speciale Archeologia, Belle Arti and Paesaggio di Roma
2300-year-old untouched grave recently discovered in the suburbs of Rome (Italy) Credits: Soprintendenza Speciale Archeologia, Belle Arti and Paesaggio di Roma

An exceptional 2300-year-old tomb has been unearthed in the Case Rosse area on the outskirts of Rome. Italy and its rich archaeological past never cease to amaze us. And not only in Pompeii, at the foot of the Vesuvius volcano, where extraordinary discoveries are in progress.

Rome, the ancient ancient capital, is not left out to reveal its secrets. Including the best kept. Thus, in his suburbs, a worker had a providential spin by accidentally revealing, during development works carried out as part of a preventive archeology intervention, the existence of an impressive tomb dug to two meters depth. An inviolate cellar found as it was closed in the fourth century BC. Four skeletons – three men and one woman – were lying there. Some on benches, others on the floor.

Above all, accompanying these deceased in their final journey, a series of remarkable glazed ceramics among which decorated plates, bowls and amphorae still contained food reliefs.

The finding was named ‘Tomb of the Athlete’ because of a distinctive finding amongst the other funeral offerings: alongside the remains of the four people, archaeologists discovered two strigils, a type of metal hook that Ancient Romans used to scrape off sweat and dirt after exerting themselves, especially in sport.

Little is known about the human occupants: two of the men, one aged around 50 and the other in his 30s, were laid out on counters inside the burial chamber, while another man aged between 35-45 and a woman of unknown years were found on the ground.

The Soprintendenza Speciale di Roma, the body charged with looking after Rome’s heritage, says it plans to study the contents in detail over the coming months.

Work on the Metro Line C uncovered a military barracks, a solarium and what’s believed to have been Rome’s first university underneath the modern city. Some of the hundreds of artifacts unearthed are now on display to the public at the recently completed San Giovanni station.

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