May 16, 2016 1:16 pm
Updated: May 16, 2016 2:37 pm

IN PHOTOS: Rare Roman relics unearthed in Rome subway construction

WATCH: Subway construction in Rome uncovers rare Roman barracks and burial ground.


In a country as old as Italy, you never know what you’ll find while digging beneath the streets of Rome.

Workers upgrading Rome’s subway system uncovered the ruins of a Roman barracks and much more earlier this month.

Media visit the site where ancient Roman ruins were discovered during work on a new underground line, in Rome, Monday, May 16, 2016.

AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino

Work on the Metro C being built through the centre of Rome has once again run into ancient Roman ruins, this time the barracks for the Roman Praetorian guards dating back to the period of Emperor Hadrian, in the second century A.D.


The barracks were uncovered about nine metres below street level and cover about 900 square metres. Archaeologists said that the entire barracks consisted of 39 rooms.

Rome’s rich history has made digging and upgrading their subway system a bit of a challenge as they continually encounter ancient artifacts and ruins. The same situation occurred in Athens while the country prepared for the 2004 Olympics.

Officials say old Roman barracks discovered under the streets of present day Rome cover 900 square metres, and include a 100 metre hallway with 39 rooms.

AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino

Photo of a Roman wall found beneath the streets of Rome.

Alessandro Serranò/AGF/REX/Shutterstock

Included are a long hallway, decorated floors and frescoed walls. Remains of about 13 adults were also uncovered along with a bronze bracelet and coin.

An archaeologist checks human bones as ancient Roman ruins of former barracks were discovered during work on a new underground line in Rome, Monday, May 16, 2016.

AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino

A view of ancient roman ruins and mosaics discovered during work on a new underground line in Rome, Italy, May 16, 2016.


“It’s exceptional, not only for its good state of conservation but because it is part of a neighbourhood which already included four barracks,” said Rossella Rea of the Culture Ministry. “And therefore, we can characterize this area as a military neighbourhood.”

with files from The Associated Press

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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