'Mythical Roman cave' unearthed
2007 11 21

From: news.bbc.co.uk


A camera probe sent into the cave revealed a ceiling covered in shells, mosaics and coloured marble and with a white eagle at the centre.

Italian archaeologists say they have found the long-lost underground grotto where ancient Romans believed a female wolf suckled the city's twin founders.

The cave believed to be the Lupercal was found near the ruins of Emperor Augustus' palace on the Palatine hill.

The 8m (26ft) high cave decorated with shells, mosaics and marble was found during restoration work on the palace.

According to mythology Romulus and Remus were nursed by a she-wolf after being left on the River Tiber's banks.

The twin sons of the god Mars and priestess Rhea Silvia are said to have later founded Rome on the Palatine in 753 BC.

The brothers ended up fighting over who should be in charge of the city, a power struggle which ended only after Romulus killed his brother.

In Roman times a popular festival called the Lupercalia was held annually on 15 February.

Young nobles called Luperci, taking their name from the place of the wolf (lupa), ran from the Lupercal around the bounds of the Palatine in what is believed to have been a purification ritual.

Naked, except for the skins of goats that had been sacrificed that day, they would strike women they met on the hands with strips of sacrificial goatskin to promote fertility.

'Astonishing history'
Presenting the discovery, Italian Culture Minister Francesco Rutelli said archaeologists were "reasonably certain" that the newly unearthed cave could be the Lupercal.

According to myth, Romulus and Remus were nursed by a she-wolf

"This could reasonably be the place bearing witness to the myth of Rome, one of the most well-known cities in the world - the legendary cave where the she-wolf suckled Romulus and Remus, saving them from death," he said.

"Italy and Rome never cease to astonish the world with continual archaeological and artistic discoveries, and it is incredible to think that we have finally found a mythical site which, by our doing so, has become a real place."

The ancient cave was found 16m (52ft) underground in a previously unexplored area during restoration work on the palace of Augustus, the first Roman emperor.

Exploration of the cavity was hampered, however, by fears that it might collapse and damage the foundations of the surrounding ruins.


Exploration of the cave was hampered by fears that it might collapse and damage the foundations of the monuments on the Palatine hill.

Archaeologists therefore used endoscopes and laser scanners to study it, ascertaining that the circular structure was 8m (26ft) high and 7.5m (24ft) in diameter.

A camera probe later sent into the cave revealed a ceiling covered in shells, mosaics and coloured marble, with a white eagle at the centre.

"You can imagine our amazement - we almost screamed," said Professor Giorgio Croci, the head of the archaeological team working on the restoration of the Palatine, told reporters.

"It is clear that Augustus... wanted his residence to be built in a place which was sacred for the city of Rome," he added.

The Palatine hill is covered in palaces and other ancient monuments, from the 8th Century BC remains of Rome's first buildings to a mediaeval fortress and Renaissance villas.

After being closed for decades due to risk of collapse, parts of the hill will re-open to the public in February after a 12m-euro ($17.7m) restoration programme.



Article from: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7104330.stm



Related Articles
Rome's She-Wolf Younger Than Its City
More Clues in the Legend (or Is It Fact?) of Romulus


Latest News from our Front Page

Recent Israeli Synagogue Attack, a Possible False Flag?
2014 11 21
Dear Friends - I woke up yesterday morning to see a newspaper lying on the kitchen table with the front page proclaiming that five people were slain in an Israeli synagogue after a so-called "Palestinian attack." Some members of the media said that four people were killed, others said five, so it seems like that there was some confusion (or ...
The Michael Brown Shooting, Race Baiting for Political Power and Militarization of the Police
2014 11 21
From Youtube: The evidence clearly shows that Officer Darren Wilson was justified in shooting Michael Brown, so why is this case being hyped by the mainstream media and the leftist political establishment?
Detekt: A New Malware Detection Tool That Can Expose Illegitimate State Surveillance
2014 11 21
Recent years have seen a boom in the adoption of surveillance technology by governments around the world, including spyware that provides its purchasers the unchecked ability to target remote Internet users’ computers, to read their personal emails, listen in on private audio calls, record keystrokes and passwords, and remotely activate their computer’s camera or microphone. EFF, together with Amnesty International, ...
New UK spy chief says tech giants aid terrorism, privacy not ‘absolute right’
2014 11 21
Robert Hannigan, the new head of GCHQ The new head of Britain’s GCHQ, the UK equivalent of the NSA in the U.S., said he believes privacy is not an absolute right and that tech giants must open themselves up to intelligence agencies. “GCHQ is happy to be part of a mature debate on privacy in the digital age,” Hannigan said. “But privacy ...
LOL: Atheist Feminist Pornographer Used as Moral Authority in T-shirt Row
2014 11 21
Dr. Matt Taylor was thrust into the headlines this last week, largely for his lead role in successfully landing a spacecraft on a comet 300 million miles from earth that travels at a speed of 85,000 mph. In short, Taylor and his colleagues pulled off one of the most amazing achievements in contemporary science and space exploration, and in a ...
More News »