Lost and Found – Archeologists unearth tomb of Rome’s mythical founder Romulus


There is a popular story is Roman mythology about twin brothers, Romulus and Remus who built the city of Rome. The twins were raised by a she-wolf in the forest along the banks of the river after being abandoned by their family. Romulus is then rumoured to have killed his brother to become the first ruler of the Ancient Roman empire.

In a city full of history and archeology from the Colosseum to the Pantheon, is the discovery of yet another set of historical ruins really matter so much? In this case, definitely yes!

Not long ago, a shrine was discovered under the site of the Roman Forum, the seat of Government in Ancient Rome, and it is believed that the shrine is dedicated to Romulus himself. This is a pretty big deal because throughout history, a lot of historians have questioned the myth of Romulus and Remus, and whether or not a person like Romulus actually existed, so, by discovering what might be the site of his tomb, we may be able to get some real answers.

The tomb, which dates back to the 6th Century BC (around the time when Romulus would have been alive) is accompanied by an altar, and although the tomb itself is empty, archaeologist Patrizia Fortini says that the linking of the tomb to Romulus is based on historical sources.

A 3D laser scan image showing the location of the tomb (in yellow) buried beneath the steps to the Curia Julia, or Senate House, in the Roman Forum. (Image: © Parco Colosseo)
A 3D laser scan image showing the location of the tomb (in yellow) buried beneath the steps to the Curia Julia, or Senate House, in the Roman Forum. (Image: © Parco Colosseo)

There are many stories throughout history about Romulus’ tomb being in the specific part of Rome where this discovery was made and more research will be carried out to learn more about the site and its significance in Roman history.

Alfonsina Russo, director of the Colosseum Archaeological Parkalso said that the site of the tomb is not Romulus’ actual burial place, but a very symbolic location based on the founding of the city of Rome by Romulus himself.

Further digging and excavation of the site is meant to start towards the end of April, and sources in Rome have said to except many more surprises to come to light.

Let’s wait and see what mysteries are unearthed and what questions remain unanswered as the investigation goes forward!

Written by: Disha Mirchandani. Disha is a former lawyer turned freelance content writer. She is a fitness enthusiast and amateur aerialist with her own fitness photo-blog as well.

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