Digging for Rome’s new subway has unearthed the charred ruins of an early 3rd-century building and the 1,800-year-old skeleton of a crouching dog that apparently perished in the same blaze that collapsed the structure.
Archaeologists on Monday said they made the discovery on May 23 while examining a 33-foot – deep hole bored near the ancient Aurelian Walls as part of construction work for the Metro C line.
“A Pompeii-like scene” was how the Culture Ministry described the findings that evoked comparisons to the inhabitants trapped by the 79 A.D. Vesuvius volcanic explosion and preserved for centuries in the ruins of Pompeii.
“The fire that stopped life in this environment allows us to image life in a precise moment,” said Francesco Prosperetti, in charge of Rome’s archaeological ruins and excavations.
Experts say the Rome ruins might be from an aristocrat’s home at the foot of the nearby Celian Hill or from a nearby military barracks, which itself had been explored in other excavations for the subway line.
One of the reasons Rome has such a limited subway system for a metropolis is that construction of an underground transport line inevitably reveals layers of what had been buried slices of life from one of the ancient world’s most important capitals.
In this dig, items found included a leg of a stool or table; another one,…