Archaeologists discover two ancient Roman sarcophagi just behind Rome’s modern Olympic Stadium


Rome’s iconic Olympic Stadium (Stadio Olimpico), the home stadium of Serie A clubs Lazio and Roma, was inaugurated in 1937, and as such boasts an enviable capacity of over 70,000 spectators. And now as it turns out, the massive sporting complex boasts an ancient historical legacy that goes beyond its name. To that end, archaeologists have been able to discover two ancient Roman sarcophagi that were a part of a burial ground just behind one of the stadium’s stands.

The announcement of the incredible discovery was made by the Special Superintendency for the Colosseum and the Archaeological Area of Central Rome, the umbrella body that forms a part of Italy’s Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Heritage. According to them, one of these tombs is bedecked with an intricate bas-relief, while the other one displays ‘simple’ yet ‘impressive’ motifs. As for the location of this fascinating find, the stadium’s stand in question is known as the Curva Nord, and it mostly used by the Lazio supporters in the home games.


Currently, many of the objects from these two ancient Roman sarcophagi are being taken to the lab for further analysis. And in case one is wondering, the tombs were identified during a routine archeological dig in the proximate area. And interestingly enough, ‘unintentional’ discoveries such as these are actually not unheard of in Italy, especially Rome.

For example, back in April, workers fortuitously came across a 3rd century BC Roman aqueduct close to the line C of Rome’s metro in Piazza Celimontana. There is even an incredible case where McDonald’s Italia funded a $315,000 restoration project that preserved an ancient Roman road underneath the establishment – and it can be viewed through a transparent glass floor.


Source: The Local / Images Credit: ANSA

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