In the modern Italian capital, a few meters from the Vatican, archaeologists have discovered the ruins of the private theater of the Roman emperor Nero, which belonged to the 1st century AD
In Rome, lost for centuries, the theater of Emperor Nero was discovered
In the Italian capital, a few meters from the Vatican, archaeologists have discovered the ruins of a private theater of the Roman emperor Nero, which belonged to the 1st century AD. It is considered “exceptional” a find, said Roman special steward Daniela Porro on Thursday.
This site, previously undocumented, is where Nero rehearsed poetry and music, and is next to Peter's Basilica.
Until now, the existence of this ancient theater has puzzled many historians, since it was mentioned in Roman texts written by Pliny the Elder, but its location was not known.
Nero was the fifth Roman emperor, reigning from 54 to 68 AD. The unpopular leader has become notorious for his personal immoral lifestyle.
The theater includes elegant marble columns adorned with gold leaf and storage rooms containing remnants of costumes and sets used in Nero's theatrical productions.
These excavations are part of the renovation of Palazzo della Rovere on Via della Conciliacione leading to Saint Peter's Square.
The project will transform part of the Renaissance building into a Four Seasons Hotel, which will open in 2025 during the Jubilee Year in Rome, and millions of people are expected to visit the city.
According to Superintendent Porro, the “exceptional” there are finds at the excavation site from the time of the reign of Nero until the 15th century. Some later artefacts testify to the site's use as a theatre, including remnants of costumes, as well as later pottery and kitchen utensils.
Colored glass goblets and fragments of pottery have also been unearthed during extensive excavations covering an entire block of the city. tentatively dating back to the 10th century.
“This is a magnificent excavation that every archaeologist dreams of,” said archaeologist Marcia Di Mento, who is in charge of the excavation, which began in 2020.
Dee Mento said it would take years to study and date all the treasures.
Among the 15th-century artifacts found during the excavations were glass goblets, cooking pots, coins and remains of musical instruments, Di Mento added. She said that combs made from bones and various tools for making a rosary were also found.
Many small items will be sent to Roman museums for display, and the ruins of the structure will be re-buried after they are catalogued, she said. Porro.
Renovation of the palazzo and garden above the ruins is ongoing.