Friday, March 7th, 2008
Rome has only 2 subway lines, and they’re old and crappy and don’t hit many of the most famous locations in the center of town because it’s basically impossible to dig in the historic center without encountering structures of immense archaeological value.
The laws on the subject are strict: the city’s archaeological superintendency decides the fate of any archaeological find.
Most of them remain in place, with the new construction either changing route or going up around the ancient. Some are moved.
Some are even be destroyed, don’t ask me why. They let this Roman villa get split in two by a parking ramp. Go figure.
Anyway, since 2006 so far the subway digs have come across:
- an ancient arch
- Roman Villas
- the foundations of an imperial Roman public building
- dating back to imperial times,
- parts of a monumental complex built by Augustus’ partner Marcus Agrippa
- Roman taverns near the ancient Forum
- remains of 16th-century palaces
- Roman tombs
- A sixth-century copper factory
- medieval kitchens still stocked with pots and pans
It remains to be seen what becomes of these treasures. The authorities are looking into the planned route to see if it can be made to snake around finds, but it seems to me no matter where they go, they’re going to find other stuff that needs snaking around.
I think they should include them in the build of the subway. Like box them in plexi or something. That would be coolest subway ever. People could get an education just taking the train.