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03:29

Italy: Rome unveils 'tomb' of city's mythological founder Romulus

Italy, Rome
February 21, 2020 at 17:29 GMT +00:00 · Published

An underground chamber said to be the tomb of Romulus, one of the mythological founders of Rome, presented to the press in the Italian capital on Friday.

The chamber was excavated in the city's Imperial Fora and comes complete with a tuff sarcophagus of about 1.40 metres (4.6 feet) in length, associated with a circular element, probably an altar. The sarcophagus has reportedly been dated back to the sixth century BC.

Colosseum Archaeological Park director Alfonsina Russo curbed any kind of enthusiasm linking the tomb with the legendary first King of the Eternal City, saying "we know from sources that Romulus was killed and torn to pieces. And other sources also say he ascended to heaven, to become a god named Quirino. So it is impossible for this to be Romulus' tomb."

Russo conceded that the chamber was likely a "place in the memory of Romulus" - a cenotaph.

In Roman mythology, Romulus and his twin brother Remus were abandoned on the bank of the river Tiber by their great-uncle, King Amulius. They were found and suckled by a she-wolf until they were adopted by a shepherd. As adults, the twins learned of their past and decided to help restore their grandfather, former King Numitor, to the throne. The twins then decided to build a city of their own. Their disagreement over which hill to found their city on lead Remus to be killed by Romulus, who then went on to found the city of Rome in the eighth century BC.

03:29
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Description

An underground chamber said to be the tomb of Romulus, one of the mythological founders of Rome, presented to the press in the Italian capital on Friday.

The chamber was excavated in the city's Imperial Fora and comes complete with a tuff sarcophagus of about 1.40 metres (4.6 feet) in length, associated with a circular element, probably an altar. The sarcophagus has reportedly been dated back to the sixth century BC.

Colosseum Archaeological Park director Alfonsina Russo curbed any kind of enthusiasm linking the tomb with the legendary first King of the Eternal City, saying "we know from sources that Romulus was killed and torn to pieces. And other sources also say he ascended to heaven, to become a god named Quirino. So it is impossible for this to be Romulus' tomb."

Russo conceded that the chamber was likely a "place in the memory of Romulus" - a cenotaph.

In Roman mythology, Romulus and his twin brother Remus were abandoned on the bank of the river Tiber by their great-uncle, King Amulius. They were found and suckled by a she-wolf until they were adopted by a shepherd. As adults, the twins learned of their past and decided to help restore their grandfather, former King Numitor, to the throne. The twins then decided to build a city of their own. Their disagreement over which hill to found their city on lead Remus to be killed by Romulus, who then went on to found the city of Rome in the eighth century BC.

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