This story is actually a week or so old, but I had to do some investigating … the source for most of the coverage appears to be a report in ANSA; an excerpt:
[…] The sixth-century BC abode had a rectangular layout most likely divided into two rooms, on a tufa stone base and with an entrance possibly preceded by a portico opening onto one of the long sides, with wooden walls covered in clay under a tile roof.
The discovery was made this summer during preliminary archaeological excavations conducted by the superintendent’s office on the historic building and is considered one of the most important of recent years, as it redesigns the map of Rome between the sixth and the fifth centuries BC.
It is also remarkable for the good state of conservation of the structure and since it had previously been thought that the area in which it was found was used as a necropolis and not as a residential area. Since 2003, Palazzo Canevari – which is now owned by the Italian savings and loans bank, which took charge of the excavations when it purchased the property – has been surveyed to see whether ancient relics were on the premises. Following a period of extensive excavations, in 2013 an enormous fifth-century temple was found. And now this latest find, dating back to the time of the Servian Walls, has been considered revolutionary.
“This building is basically absent in archaic Rome, and there are only traces in the Forum area. The home was probably used for about 50-60 years prior to when the temple was built that was discovered in 2013,” Mirella Serlorenzi said during a press visit, who directed the excavations on behalf of the superintendent’s office. “The position of the house near the temple hints at it being a sacred area, and that whoever lived there was watching over what happened therein. But it is even more important that we can now retro-date the urbanization of the Quirinal zone. The Servian Walls encircled an area that was already inhabited and not a necropolis.” “This means that Rome at the beginning of the sixth century was much larger than what we expected and not closed in around the Forum,” she added, stressing that “the excavations will continue for months more. But everything depends on what we find.” […]
The Telegraph adds some useful detail, inter alia:
The hill was thought to have become a part of the city of Rome during the reign of Rome’s sixth king, Servius Tullius. It was previously believed to have been used as a sacred area, with temples and a necropolis, while the city’s residential area was believed to be further south where the Roman Forum is located. […]
… and some nice commentary by amicus noster Darius Arya:
“Many grand projects of restoration going on now are focused on the monuments we know, like the Colosseum and the Trevi Fountain, but there is much of Rome’s history that is not so well preserved,” Darius Arya, an American archaeologist currently excavating Ostia Antica, told The Telegraph.
“What is so amazing is that this discovery dates back to Archaic Rome, a crucial period – the regal period – that made Rome so great.”
- via: Ancient house shows the spread of Roman suburbia (Telegraph)
Folks wanting to track down coverage of the temple find back in 2013 will need to resort to the Italian press:
- Archeologia: scoperto tempio sul Quirinale a Roma (Libero Quotidiano)
… which also mentioned a potentially interesting infant burial (was it part of the foundation?). What I was trying to figure out (and still can’t, really) is whether this is the same site (I get confused by all the Palazzi) which found a statue of a Maenad which some were suggesting might be a link to a Temple of Quirinus (but later that suggestion was changed … Maybe the Temple of Quirinus Is Somewhere Else?). What became of that?
More coverage (mostly based on AP):
- Excavation of Rome home shows city bigger than thought (Phys Org … nice photos)
- Sixth century home unearthed in Rome (The Local)
- Excavation of Rome home shows city bigger than thought (Stamford Advocate … nice photos)