Archive for Saturday, August 8, 2009

Birthplace of Roman emperor found

August 8, 2009

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— Archaeologists have unearthed a sprawling country villa believed to be the birthplace of Vespasian, the Roman emperor who built the Colosseum, they said Friday.

The 2,000-year-old ruins were found about 80 miles northeast of Rome, near Cittareale, lead archaeologist Filippo Coarelli said.

The 150,000-square-feet complex was at the center of an ancient village called Falacrine, Vespasian’s hometown.

Even though there are no inscriptions to attribute it for sure, the villa’s location and luxury make it likely it was Vespasian’s birthplace, Coarelli said.

The 1st-century residence featured “a well-preserved huge floor, decorated with luxurious marble coming from the whole Mediterranean area,” he said.

“It’s clear that such things could only belong to someone with a high social position and wealth. And in this place, it was the Flavians,” the dynasty to which Vespasian belonged.

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