Rome to unveil new archeological treasure

A tomb believed to belong to the city's founder, Romulus, is being shared with the world today

Capitoline Wolf suckles the infant twins Romulus and Remus.
Capitoline Wolf suckles the infant twins Romulus and Remus.

Rome is unveiling a new archaeological treasure – an ancient tomb believed to belong to the city’s founder, Romulus.

According to legend, Romulus founded the city after murdering his twin brother, Remus. There is ongoing debate as to whether the pair actually existed but, through the ages, an image of the twins being suckled by a she-wolf has become a symbol of Rome and its people.

A stone sarcophagus dating back to the 6th century BC, with an accompanying circular altar, was discovered under Rome’s Forum decades ago, but experts could not decide whether or not it belonged to the famed Romulus, whose body was believed to have been dismembered by angry senators after his death.

The ancient tomb thought to belong to Rome's founder Romulus at the Curia - Comitium in Rome. AFP Photo / Archeological Park of the Colosseum  
The ancient tomb thought to belong to Rome's founder Romulus at the Curia - Comitium in Rome. AFP Photo / Archeological Park of the Colosseum

The Colosseum Archaeological Park, which manages the Forum where the sarcophagus lies, said recent clues all pointed to it being the founder's tomb, in what it labelled an "extraordinary discovery". No bones were discovered at the site.

"These two archaeological objects (sarcophagus and altar) have given rise to a hypothesis we can now debate," says Italian archaeologist Paolo Carafa. "Whether Romulus existed or not is not important. What matters is that this figure is considered by the ancients to mark the political birth of the city."

Published: February 21, 2020 03:32 PM

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