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Pantheon sinkhole reveals ancient paving


A sinkhole that opened up in front of the Pantheon in Rome last week has uncovered ancient Roman paving stones, sources said this week.

Pantheon sinkhole reveals ancient paving
Credit: Soprintendenza Speciale Roma



The seven slabs of travertine, which are about 2.30/2.70 metres below street level with dimensions of about 80 by 90 centimetres and 30 centimetres thick, were first found in the 1990s during the construction of an underground service tunnel, and the discovery was well documented.

Pantheon sinkhole reveals ancient paving
Pantheon sinkhole reveals ancient paving
Pantheon sinkhole reveals ancient paving
Credit: Soprintendenza Speciale Roma



"More than twenty years after their initial discovery", explains Daniela Porro, Special Superintendent of Rome, "the slabs of the ancient paving of the square in front of the Pantheon, protected by a layer of fine pozzolana (a natural siliceous material), resurfaces intact, providing further evidence of Rome's inestimable archaeological riches," she said.


In imperial times the square was much larger than it is today and extended in front of the Pantheon, the temple dedicated to all the gods, built by Agrippa, Augustus' son-in-law, between 27 and 25 BC. The area was then entirely renovated in the 2nd century AD by Emperor Hadrian (the Pantheon itself was renovated after two fires). The square was also raised and paved again with travertine blocks. 

The level on which the slabs are located are believed to be from Hadrian's time.


TANN

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