Sunday, October 11, 2009
'Mini-Colosseum' Rediscovered in Rome
In Rome , under the Fiumicino airport, there is a ‘mini-colossuem’ that, according to British archaeologists, may have been used by Roman emperors. The amphitheater has similar characteristics of the larger arena that is located in the center of Rome . However this ‘mini-colosseum’ is located at the site of Portus, an ancient harbor on the Tiber River . Although Rodolfo Lanciani marked the remains of what seemed to be a theater around the 1860’s, Simon Keay, project director and leading expert in Roman archaeology, claims “Our team has rediscovered this structure and proved it was in fact a building more akin to an amphitheater.” Findings over the three year period, such as a lavishly decorated rooms, a grand garden, a finely carved marble head, possibly resembling the Greek hero Ulysses, and a well-preserved toilet lead Keay to believe that the building was used for wealthy officials and possibly emperors. “This is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. … Certainly it should be rated alongside such wonders as Stonehenge and Angkor Wat in Cambodia ,” Keay said.