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Unexpected subterranean marvels in Rome

CAVAUnexpected subterranean marvels in Rome

Once you think that almost every relevant archeological discovery has already been made, the city of Rome continues to surprise its citizens and the rest of world, revealing completely unexpected subterranean marvels.

At the end of November 2013, speleologists from the non-profit organization Roma Sotterranea went down for about 80 feet (25 meters) in the bowels of the earth, just underneath Monteverde neighborhood.

The expedition was launched to find an ancient Jewish Catacomb, first discovered in the 17th century by Antonio Bosio, but unfortunately forgotten in time.

All of a sudden, the speleologists found themselves walking through tuff tunnels and quarriers, which they suppose may cover an area of about 492.000 square feet. 

The tuff is a rock made of consolidated volcanic ash and, although very strong, was also easily carved into blocks, thus becoming one of the favorite raw materials of Roman architects.

Therefore ancient Romans began to mine the rock and created this intricate system of quarries and tunnels, just underneath the city.

Incredibly high vaults, supported by natural columns, enclose large spaces and rooms, that speleologists think might hide the access to the catacomb. And just beneath Trastevere Station, the tunnels led the speleologists to discover a 164-foot lake. 

The pictures of the discovery are simply breathtaking.

Research to find the Jewish Catacomb are going on. Speleologists from Roma Sotterranea underlined how that would represent a great rediscovery, since there are only six Jewish catacombs that have been found in Rome so far.

We are looking forward for speleologists to find the access point to the catacomb, thus bringing to light new treasures and findings to tell us a new story!

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