2000-year-old birthplace of Roman emperor Vespasian found

January 28th, 2010 - 4:42 pm ICT by ANI  

Rome, January 28 (ANI): Reports indicate that an international team of archaeologists has claimed to have unearthed the 2000-year-old birthplace of the Roman emperor, Vespasian, north of the Italian capital.

Vespasian ruled the Roman empire in the first century A.D. and was behind the construction of the Colosseum, one of Italy’s most popular landmarks.

According to a report by Adnkronos International, archeologists believe they have located his birthplace in the Falacrinae valley near the hill town of Cittareale, 130 km northeast of Rome.

“Ancient Roman historian Suetonius says Vespasian was born in the Falacrinae valley area. Field surveys and information from locals have told us tell us this must be Vespasian’s birthplace,” one of the project’s directors, British archaeologist Helen Patterson told Adnkronos International.

Vespasian was the ninth Roman emperor, who reigned from 69-79 AD.

He was believed to come from humble beginnings and founded the short-lived Flavian dynasty after the civil wars that followed Nero’s death in 68 AD.

“During recent excavations, the archaeologists uncovered sumptuous marble floors and mosaics at the site of the 3,000-4,000 square metre Villa of Falacrinae,” Patterson said.

The team of 30-60 archaeologists recovered pots, numerous coins, ceramic and metal artefacts from the site which is 820 metres above sea level, overlooking the surrounding Falacrinae valley.

“The archeologists are hoping to recover more items in fresh excavations in July and August,” Patterson said.

Archaeologists from the British School at Rome and the University of Perugia used geophysical surveys to give them an X-ray image of the buried building, Patterson explained.

“It was obviously a very,very big structure and very luxurious,” she said, adding that the marble used in the villa’s floors had been imported from all over the Mediterranean.

“We have also discovered Roman baths, a garden and a dining room and have only excavated a portion of the villa since the dig began in 2007,” she said. (ANI)

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