A building in central Rome holds a hidden treasure in the basement, the archaeologists said. The remains of a Roman-era home include elaborate mosaics.
A mosaics from a Roman “Domus”, or home, dating from between the first century BC to the second century AD, was discovered during the renovation of an ancient building at the central part of Italy’s capital. The remains were revealed by excavations to transform the former headquarters of the National Bank of Labour into an apartment building after its purchase by French bank BNP Paribas.
As Roberto Narducci, an archaeologist from Rome’s Directorate of Cultural Assets, said, the researchers were delighted to find such as ‘archaeological box’. In fact, an architectural structure having two functions: to protect the mosaics and to allow the public to have access to it.
The mosaics depict sinewy vines creeping from pots, black and white geometric patterns, and even a bright green parrot perched atop a branch, AFP reports. Doors opened to the public on Friday after four years of technologically complex excavation work that was completed in 2018.
The archaeologists are happy to the opportunity to study ancient mosaics
The archaeologists study several layers of mosaics that were superimposed on each other over the centuries, six in total: from a scientific point of view, this happens extremely rarely.
Taking into account the scale of the precious antic area of over 2,000 square metres, it wasn’t surprising that the scientists unearthed even more findings, some dating back as far as the eighth century BC, including the remains of a military construction that may have been a watchtower. Its foundations are still visible.
Meantime, residents are “proud” of the former Roman home below them. They have preferential access when the site is open to the public. A deal between Rome’s cultural assets department and the condominium provides for visits by the public on the first and third Friday of each month, under the supervision of a guide.
“It’s true we’re inside a residential building, but we are also on an archaeological site where the objects belong to the state,” Narducci said.