Rare Roman Temple Unearthed on Site of Supermarket Construction in Italy
In a small mountainous Italian village, a rare ancient Roman temple has been discovered during the construction of a supermarket, as reported by CNN.
"We found three separate rooms, likely dedicated to the triad of gods Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva," said CNN's lead archaeologist on-site, Romina Pirraglia.
"The excavation is still ongoing... and we have already identified an older, deeper layer of ruins dating back to the 4th century BCE, when the Umbri (an ancient Italian tribe preceding the Romans) inhabited this area. The entire temple could be even larger than what we currently see," added the archaeologist.
The sunny village of Sarsina is nestled amidst the Apennines Mountains in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna. It boasts a population of scarcely 3,000 residents.
Its inhabitants eagerly anticipated the construction of a new commercial complex, including a new supermarket, fitness centre, and children's playground.
However, at the end of the previous year, workers on the outskirts of the town unearthed ruins of an ancient Roman temple, or "Capitoline," dating back to the 1st century BCE.
At the beginning of July, the first underground treasure was discovered: a single grand structure made of horizontal sandstone blocks and marble slabs measuring 577 square meters, identified by researchers as a podium, upon which stood columns and walls of the ancient temple.
In a distant illustrious past, this location served as a strategic defensive outpost for the Roman Empire and was the birthplace of the renowned playwright Plautus, an ancient Roman theatrical figure and author of numerous comedies.
The discovery of the temple prompted local authorities to reassess their construction plans. Federica Gonzato, the inspector for the Department of Archaeology, Visual Arts, and Landscape of the provinces of Ravenna, Rimini, and Forlì-Cesena, which includes Sarsina, aims to preserve the ruins and continue exploring their rich history.
"We will not demolish it to make way for modern structures. Previous urban planning designs will be altered, and new areas for relaxation and sports will be created," stated Gonzato.
"This is the beauty of Italy: wherever you dig, some hidden treasure emerges from the ground. Wonders never cease to amaze us," added the archaeologist.
The temple stands as an incredible find, shedding light on the emergence and decline of ancient Roman cities over time.