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21.11.07

Rome's Foundation

Digging inside the Palatine Hill, archeologists in Rome appear to have discovered the Lupercale, the cave sanctuary where, according to tradition, Romulus and Remus were nursed by a she-wolf. When they had grown up, Romulus killed his twin brother and became the founder of Rome.

Ancient texts say the grotto, known as the Lupercale-- from "lupa," Latin for she-wolf -- was near the palace of Augustus, Rome's first emperor, and was decorated with a white eagle. That symbol was found atop the sanctuary's vault, which lies just below the ruins of the palace built by Augustus, archaeologist Irene Iacopi said. [...]

Most of the sanctuary is filled with earth, but laser scans allowed experts to estimate that the circular structure is 26 feet high and 24 feet in diameter, Croci said. Archaeologists at the news conference were divided on how to gain access to the Lupercale. Iacopi said a new dig would start soon to find the grotto's original entrance at the bottom of the hill. Carandini suggested enlarging the hole at the top through which probes have been lowered so far, saying that burrowing at the base of the hill could disturb the foundations of other ruins.
Holy cow! As I am planning to be in Rome again this summer, I am hopeful that there will be something to see by then. Read the rest of the report from the Associated Press.

UPDATE:
See this video of the excavation put online by The Guardian.

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