New Tales of Old Rome

New Tales of Old Rome

Read FREE!

New Tales of Old Rome

New Tales of Old Rome

Read FREE!

Excerpt

A discovery made on the borderline between the Comitium and the Forum, on June 15, 1899, has set the archaeological world astir, and given rise to a much debated controversy. To make the matter clear to the reader, I must go back to the very beginning of the present campaign of exploration, which will remain memorable forever in the archaeological records of Rome.

The reason why the exploration has proved so successful must be found in the fact that former excavations--those included in which I have had a personal share, since 1871-- have seldom reached the deepest levels. As soon as a paving-stone, or a brick or marble floor was found, whether imperial, or Byzantine, or mediæval, it did not matter, we were made to stop, without trying to ascertain whether older and more important relics were concealed in the lower strata. I do not mean to say that the surface ruins ought to be sacrificed to the requirements of a deeper exploration, because no archaeologist in the world, however great his fame and his independence, has the right to break one single link in the chain of chronology of superposed structures, every one of which has an equal claim to existence: but there are gaps and free spaces enough between the surface ruins to allow occasionally the search to be carried down to the virgin soil.

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