Sinkhole reveals Roman paving near Pantheon

As if Rome wasn’t exciting enough, news that a sinkhole has opened up near the Pantheon has caused a buzz among archaeologists, who discovered the remains of Roman paving once they peered down it.

The imperial paving stones were laid more than two millennia ago – and the trench in Piazza della Rotonda reveals just how much of ancient Rome lies undiscovered beneath its streets.

I3010045.JPG
Piazza della Rotonda from the Pantheon – the sinkhole is on the other side of the piazza by the white building you can see through the columns (image copyright A. Meredith)

The sinkhole is 8 feet deep and 10 feet square – and the Roman paving slabs are made of travertine and date from 27 B.C. to 25 B.C, which is about the same time the Pantheon was built. It is thought they were laid by Marcus Agrippa, who commissioned the Pantheon during the reign of his friend, the first Roman emperor Augustus, who was a great nephew of Julius Caesar and succeeded him after his murder. The artist Raphael is entombed inside the Pantheon.

The existing road surface in Piazza della Rotonda covers a tunnel housing cabling – and the paving slabs were first discovered years ago when these were laid. The existing road surface fell into the tunnel, exposing the Roman paving again.

street-3401918_640

Rome is often prone to sinkholes because of the excavations, catacombs and temples that lie beneath it – in some years, there can be more than 100 sinkholes opening up across the city.  The Romans built water systems beneath the city – and quarried its foundations for building materials, leaving vast caverns underfoot. Tourism and heavy traffic can also make the problem worse, although it is unusual for anyone to actually disappear down a sinkhole. Occasionally people do wake up to find part of their garden has disappeared, however!

You can take a peek at the sinkhole and its Roman remains here. 

Hopefully we will soon be able to visit Rome again and see the find for ourselves.

Buon viaggio!

statue-835240_640

 

All images Pixabay except where stated

 

Want to go to Rome now?

Rome Alone DIGITAL_BOOK_THUMBNAIL (3)ROME AGAIN DIGITAL_BOOK_THUMBNAILVerona Alone DIGITAL_BOOK_THUMBNAIL (2)Verona Again DIGITAL_BOOK_THUMBNAIL

 

Download ROME ALONE and ROME AGAIN free at Kindle Unlimited or for £2.40 each.

Set off to the Eternal City for a weekend of surprises in ROME ALONE, as unhappy housewife Bee and newly-divorced Alzheimer’s expert Dr Neil McCarthy leave from opposite ends of the country for a mini-break full of the unexpected that will change their lives forever as they make their way round the sites. Return to Rome with them three years later in ROME AGAIN and discover the forces at work which they never suspected on their first trip.

man-2178721_1920

Download ROME ALONE

Download ROME AGAIN

 

Catch up with the story in VERONA ALONE, free at Kindle Unlimited or for just £2.40 each.

In VERONA ALONE, newly divorced former cellist Moira decides to fulfil a girlhood dream of visiting Verona during the summer opera season. There she is taken under the wing of a quirky and generous American who appears to have a secret, which is only discovered when she finds herself all at sea with him. VERONA AGAIN sees three couples fight to save their relations – who will succeed, who will fail and who will lose the love of their life?

portrait-94809_1920

Download VERONA ALONE

Download VERONA AGAIN

All books contain adult themes, dark humour and sexual content.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s