An ancient tomb believed to be the final resting place of the legendary ‘wolf-suckled’ King Romulus – the founder of Rome – has been unveiled to the public for the first time in a series of new images.
The tomb was uncovered in the Roman Forum during recent excavations and its discovery supports a long-standing theory that the first King of Rome was buried at the site.
Researchers from the Colosseum Archaeological Park investigated the claims and found a 4.6ft rock sarcophagus and circular alter that match descriptions from ancient scholars and Roman folklore.
No bones were found at the site but some experts believe its existence is enough proof it was built as a shrine to Romulus.
The finding is near another famous shrine in the Roman Forum, the Lapis Niger, which is an ancient black shrine.
But, unlike Lapis Niger, the proposed tomb of Romulus does not have any inscriptions to indicate who the person buried there was.
Archaeologists renewed their search for the tomb of Romulus following decades of debate over where he may have been buried.
The Colosseum Archaeological Park manages the Forum where the sarcophagus and alter lies.
‘These two archaeological objects (sarcophagus and altar) have given rise to a hypothesis we can now debate,’ Italian archaeologist Paolo Carafa told AFP.
Director of the Colosseum Archaeological Park Alfonsina Russo told The Times: ‘This is an extraordinary discovery. The forum never ceases to yield amazing fresh treasures.’
The underground temple is located below the entrance stairway to the Curia, a building that survives today and where Roman senators met to vote.
Scholars believed, according to Ms Russo, that the temple’s altar was positioned where ancient Romans believed Romulus was buried.
The finding occurred near the Lapis Niger, an ancient black shrine in the Roman Forum, according to Andreas Steiner, editor of the magazine Archeo.
The Lapis Niger includes an inscription of the word rex which meant either king or a high religious official – the significant of the shrine was lost to history which led to conflicting stories of its origin.
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Source: Daily Mail