Rome unveils ‘tomb of wolf-suckled King Romulus’: Inside 6th century BC stone sarcophagus where archaeologists believe Rome’s ancient founder could have been buried

  • Archaeologists uncovered an area with a rock sarcophagus devoted to Romulus dating to 6th century BC
  • The underground temple is buried beneath the entrance stairway to the Curia where Roman senators voted
  • Amazing images may be the first glimpse of the resting place of Rome’s legendary founder and first king

An ancient tomb believed to be of the final resting place of the legendary ‘wolf-suckled’ King Romulus, the founder of Rome, has been unveiled to the public for the first time. 

The tomb in the Roman Forum is thought to be the resting place of the city’s legendary founder Romulus and has been revealed in new images. 

Archaeologists believe they have uncovered an area devoted to the first King of Rome and his rock sarcophagus, measuring 4.6ft, which are believed to date back to the 6th century BC. 

The 6th century BC stone sarcophagus was discovered alongside a circular altar but no bones were found in the coffin.  

The Colosseum Archaeological Park, which manages the Forum where the sarcophagus lies, said recent clues all pointed to it being the founder’s tomb

People stand by the access to an ancient tomb thought to belong to Rome’s founder Romulus, who is believed to have killed his brother before founding Rome

The ancient tomb, which was found containing no bones, is thought to belong to Rome’s founder Romulus, pictured on February 21

A workman stands by the entrance to the ancient tomb thought to belong to Rome’s founder Romulus, whose body was reportedly dismembered after his death by angry senators

People stand by the access to an ancient tomb thought to belong to Rome’s founder Romulus on February 21, 2020 at the Curia – Comitium in the Roman Forum of Rome

Historians have long been divided not only over whether Romulus and Remus actually existed, but if so where Romulus’ body – which was reportedly dismembered after his death by angry senators – may have been buried. 

The Colosseum Archaeological Park, which manages the Forum where the sarcophagus lies, said recent clues all pointed to it being the founder’s tomb, in what it labelled an ‘extraordinary discovery’. 

The Forum was the beating heart of the Roman Empire and historical sources refer to Romulus’s possible burial in that area. 

What is the Roman Forum?  

The Roman Forum, known as the Forum Romanum in Latin, was the heartbeat of both Ancient Rome and its continent-straddling empire. 

Historians believe people first began meeting in the Forum in 500BC when the Roman Republic was founded. 

The area is situated between  Palatine Hill and Capitoline Hill. 

The Temple of Julius Caesar is the most striking monument and was built a couple of years after Ancient Rome’s most famous leader was murdered in 44BC.

The 6th century BC stone sarcophagus, with an accompanying circular altar, was discovered under the Forum in the heart of Italy’s capital decades ago, but experts could not agree on whether or not it belonged to the fabled figure.

A team of scientists carrying out a dig in the late 1980s discovered a long, deep gash marked by large stones, which they claimed was the ‘sacred furrow’ ploughed by Romulus. 

According to legend, Romulus founded the city after killing his twin brother Remus. 

Director of the Colosseum Archaeological Park Alfonsina Russo told The Times: ‘This is an extraordinary discovery. The forum never ceases to yield amazing fresh treasures.’    

Scholars believed, according to Ms Russo, that the temple’s altar has been positioned where ancient Romans believed Romulus was buried. 

The underground temple is buried beneath the entrance stairway to the Curia and was the place where Roman senators voted. 

The finding had taken place near the Lapis Niger, an ancient black shrine in the Roman Forum, according to Andreas Steiner, editor of the magazine Archeo.  

The shrine, discovered in 1899, has a Greek inscription referring to how the sacred ground must not be disturbed. 

In Roman mythology, Romulus and his twin brother Remus were left in a basket on the River Tiber.  

The pair survived and were discovered under a fig tree and a she-wolf suckled them. 

Romulus later killed his brother Remus in a fight on what became Palatine Hill in 753BC.  

Romulus – the founder of Rome – was said to have been raised by a she wolf in what is now Rome, Italy alongside his twin brother Remus. This statue shows them suckling from the wolf

More shots of the ancient tomb thought to belong to Rome’s founder Romulus – although no bones were found in the tomb

The 6th century BC stone sarcophagus, with an accompanying circular altar, was discovered under the Forum in the heart of Italy’s capital decades ago, but experts could not agree on whether or not it belonged to the fabled figure

WHO WAS ROMULUS?

In Roman mythology, Romulus and his twin brother Remus were left in a basket on the River Tiber.

In legend, they were the sons of Rhea Silvia, the daughter of Numitor, the former king of Alba Longa.

Through this lineage, the twins were descended from the Trojan hero Aeneas and Latinus.

A she-wolf found the twins at the the base of a fig tree after their mother was forced to abandon them. 

The wolf cared for the boys and raised them. letting them suckle on her. 

They learned of their true ancestry as they grew up and overthrew Amulius, the man who forced them to be abandoned. 

The two brothers set out to build their own city but cold not agree on where. An ensuing melee resulted in the death of his brother Remus.  

Source: Read Full Article