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Rome metro line runs into Roman barracks and burial ground


Work to upgrade Rome's public transport has again run up against an ancient problem: archaeological ruins.

Rome metro line runs into Roman barracks and burial ground
An archaeologist checks human bones as ancient Roman ruins of former barracks were discovered during work on a new
 underground line in Rome [Credit: Alessandra Tarantino/AP]
Culture ministry officials on Monday showed reporters where work on the city's third subway line unearthed barracks for Roman Praetorian guards dating from the second century.

Rome metro line runs into Roman barracks and burial ground
A view of ancient Roman ruins discovered during work on a new underground line in Rome 
[Credit: Alessandra Tarantino/AP]
While construction workers poured concrete at the planned Amba Aradam metro stop, an archaeologist just a few meters away brushed dirt from a small bronze bracelet.

Rome metro line runs into Roman barracks and burial ground
An archaeologist checks human bones as ancient Roman ruins of former barracks were discovered during work on a new 
underground line in Rome [Credit: Alessandra Tarantino/AP]
The barracks, discovered nine meters (about 30 feet) below street level, cover 900 square meters (9600 square feet) and include a long hallway and 39 rooms decorated with black-and-white mosaics on the floors and frescoed walls.

Rome metro line runs into Roman barracks and burial ground
Work on the Metro C being built through the center of Rome has once again run into ancient Roman ruins, this time the
 barracks for the Roman Praetorian guards dating back to the period of Emperor Hadrian, in the second century AD 
 [Credit: Alessandra Tarantino/AP]
"It's exceptional, not only for its good state of conservation but because it is part of a neighborhood which already included four barracks," said Rossella Rea of the Culture Ministry. "And therefore, we can characterize this area as a military neighborhood."

Rome metro line runs into Roman barracks and burial ground
Officials say the barracks cover 900 square meters, and include a 100 meter hallway with 39 rooms 
[Credit: Alessandra Tarantino/AP]
Archaeologists have also found a collective grave at the barracks, where they have so far discovered 13 adult skeletons along with a bronze coin and a bronze bracelet.

Rome metro line runs into Roman barracks and burial ground
A view of ancient Roman ruins discovered during work on a new underground line in Rome 
[Credit: Alessandra Tarantino/AP]
Officials hope to incorporate the discovery into the new metro station, which is scheduled to open in 2020. Work on Rome's Metro Line C has been beset by delays due to corruption probes and funding shortages since launching in 2007.

Source: The Associated Press [May 16, 2016]
TANN

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