Archaeologists Unearth Possible Shrine to Romulus, Rome’s Legendary Founder
by Katherine J. Wu/Smithsonianmag.com
Rome wasn’t built in a day. And, according to myth, it wouldn’t be around at all if not for the heroic efforts of Romulus and Remus, twins suckled by a benevolent she-wolf who found them abandoned on the banks of a river shortly after birth. Later, when the pair founded the iconic city in 753 B.C., Romulus allegedly proceeded to celebrate the momentous occasion by squabbling with, and then murdering, his brother.
Where fiction ends and fact begins in this legend remains a topic of intense debate among scholars. But the brothers’ legacy undoubtedly left its mark on Roman culture—and now, archaeologists may be one step closer to unraveling a crucial chapter in the twins’ lupine tale.
Excavations at the Roman Forum, once a bustling center that hosted many of the ancient city’s most prominent events, has revealed a subterranean shrine researchers think is dedicated to Romulus, according to the Associated Press. Dated to roughly the sixth century B.C., the underground chamber contains what looks like an altar, as well as a 55-inch sarcophagus that doesn’t appear to contain bones.
“This is an extraordinary discovery,” Alfonsina Russo, director of the Colosseum Archaeological Park, told reporters on Monday, …