Roman Subway Dig Unearths Ancient Barracks

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January 17, 2016

Workers moving earth to make room for a new subway line in Rome found remains of a barracks dating to the 2nd Century A.D.

Workers made the discovery during the final phase of construction on the city’s third subway line, called Metro C, which is due to be completed in 2020. Metro C is the first fully automated metro line and also the first line to extend beyond the city limits. The line, when completed, will run from Lodi in the west to Monte Compatri-Pantano in the east.

Archaeologists have dated the ruins to the reign of Hadrian, who was Emperor of Rome from A.D. 117 to 138. The barracks are thought to have housed the Praetorian Guards, the emperor’s personal bodyguards.

Work continues to uncover the extent of the ruins. Estimates are that the final size could be as much as 10,000 square feet. One section already uncovered comprises 39 rooms and a hallway 330 feet long.

Also found were remains of 13 adults.

The ruins will be on display as part of one of Metro C’s stations, officials said.

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