Skip to comments.Mythical Roman cave 'unearthed'[Cave of Romulus and Remus?]
Posted on 11/20/2007 12:47:31 PM PST by BGHater
The cave believed to be the Lupercal was found near the ruins of Emperor Augustus' palace on the Palatine hill.
The 8m (26ft) high cave decorated with shells, mosaics and marble was found during restoration work on the palace.
According to mythology Romulus and Remus were nursed by a she-wolf after being left on the River Tiber's banks.
The twin sons of the god Mars and priestess Rhea Silvia are said to have later founded Rome on the Palatine in 753 BC.
The brothers ended up fighting over who should be in charge of the city, a power struggle which ended only after Romulus killed his brother.
In Roman times a popular festival called the Lupercalia was held annually on 15 February.
Young nobles called Luperci, taking their name from the place of the wolf (lupa), ran from the Lupercal around the bounds of the Palatine in what is believed to have been a purification ritual.
Naked, except for the skins of goats that had been sacrificed that day, they would strike women they met on the hands with strips of sacrificial goatskin to promote fertility.
Presenting the discovery, Italian Culture Minister Francesco Rutelli said archaeologists were "reasonably certain" that the newly unearthed cave could be the Lupercal.
"This could reasonably be the place bearing witness to the myth of Rome, one of the most well-known cities in the world - the legendary cave where the she-wolf suckled Romulus and Remus, saving them from death," he said.
"Italy and Rome never cease to astonish the world with continual archaeological and artistic discoveries, and it is incredible to think that we have finally found a mythical site which, by our doing so, has become a real place."
The ancient cave was found 16m (52ft) underground in a previously unexplored area during restoration work on the palace of Augustus, the first Roman emperor.
Exploration of the cavity was hampered, however, by fears that it might collapse and damage the foundations of the surrounding ruins.
Archaeologists therefore used endoscopes and laser scanners to study it, ascertaining that the circular structure was 8m (26ft) high and 7.5m (24ft) in diameter.
A camera probe later sent into the cave revealed a ceiling covered in shells, mosaics and coloured marble, with a white eagle at the centre.
"You can imagine our amazement - we almost screamed," said Professor Giorgio Croci, the head of the archaeological team working on the restoration of the Palatine, told reporters.
"It is clear that Augustus... wanted his residence to be built in a place which was sacred for the city of Rome," he added.
The Palatine hill is covered in palaces and other ancient monuments, from the 8th Century BC remains of Rome's first buildings to a mediaeval fortress and Renaissance villas.
After being closed for decades due to risk of collapse, parts of the hill will re-open to the public in February after a 12m-euro ($17.7m) restoration programme.
Exploration of the cave was hampered by fears that it might collapse and damage the foundations of the monuments on the Palatine hill.
Archaeologists have deciphered some of the glyphs and found that Romulus killed Remus in a fit of rage when he discovered the Remus had saved a lot of money on his car insurance by switching to GEICO....
Love seeing that things like this haven’t already all been discovered - and makes you wonder what else is hiding out there, just outside our cities and towns? or sometimes buried underneath them?
In my art history class we just got finished with early Rome. One of my final “scholar” notes was on the Capitoline Wolf.
Gonna have to email this off to my instructor
Somehow "Remen Legions" just doesn't sound as cool.
Those photos are amazing.
But he’s got a friend named Biggus Dickus.
LOLOLOLOL!!!! Good one!
I’m not into little lizards, as cute as they are. Mercury is my kind of guy!
Should’ve worshipped the lizard....
Funny that there were no wolves but a white eagle.
He has a wife, you know...
The standard of the so called “lost Jewish tribe” of Dan was of white and red and the crest upon it an eagle. . .Jacob had compared Dan to a serpent.
Ahiezer substituted the eagle, the destroyer of serpents, as he shrank from carrying an adder upon his flag.” [Unger, p. 273]
They found the cave of Uncle Remus? Any mention of Brer Rabbit?
Duh. Just watch a Simpson Episode. You get to see the stuff that's buried just below the floorboards and under the foundations all the time! :^)
Somehow "Remen Legions" just doesn't sound as cool.
The National Lampoon already explored that decades ago. They had drawn a statue of "Reamus" being nursed by a he-wolf.
Romulans; Vulcans with attitude.
Translation: since Roman gods probably exist(ed), God the Creator is likely just another myth.
Buuuuut ... maybe not!
Seems clear to me that the cave, at least, isn’t mythical.
More Clues in the Legend (or Is It Fact?) of Romulus[Rome]
The New York Times | 12 June 2007 | JOHN NOBLE WILFORD
Posted on 06/13/2007 9:21:26 AM EDT by BGHater
Sanctuary of Rome’s ‘Founder’ Revealed
Yahoo! News (AP) | 11/20/2007 | Ariel David
Posted on 11/20/2007 1:08:23 PM EST by Pyro7480
Thanks BGHater and GovernmentIsTheProblem.
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