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Ancient Roman temple discovered in incredible conditions after almost a century at construction site

A Pagan Roman temple that was discovered during the construction of a supermarket in Sarsina, Italy, has intrigued researchers.

Ancient Roman temple discovered in incredible conditions after almost a century at construction site
Cover Image Source: Facebook/ Ministero della Cultura

The world is filled with unearthed secrets. These secrets aid humankind in understanding their present state and comprehending the actions of their ancestors through a different lens. Recently, a quaint town named Sarsina in Italy's Emilia Romagna region attracted a lot of eyeballs due to an interesting discovery, reported Good News Network. The discovery was an "extremely rare" relic belonging to the age of Republican Rome. Researchers have expressed a lot of excitement for the relic, as it dates back to the previous century and would be valuable in understanding the beliefs and culture of people of that time. 


Sarsina is an attractive town, enveloped on all sides by stunning scenery. Despite its eye-catching natural beauty, it never hosts flocks of visitors. In the past, the town had formed an integral part of Rome's defense. It was a fortified outpost, as it was located at a mountain pass with a lot of strategic value. The town was also the birthplace of the iconic Roman playwright, Plautus. Since then, the locale has changed a lot, adopting a countryside environment. Sarsina, with a population of 3,000, was going to become the site of a new sports complex and supermarket.


It was during the construction of the complex and supermarket that the town grabbed the spotlight once again. They came across a relic that they believed was a pagan temple dedicated to the worship of deities like Jupiter, Minerva and Juno. Such structures are known as Capitolium. Researchers are excited to explore the structure more because of its current state. Mostly, such relics are found in a destroyed or broken-down form, but in this case, it has surprisingly been found in a well-preserved state even though it has been standing for almost a century.

Researchers have estimated the size of the whole structure to be 6,200 square feet (577 square meters). It stands on sandstone and limestone blocks with a podium, typical of Roman architecture during that time. Romina Pirraglia, an archaeologist at the excavation site, shared with CNN: "We have unearthed three separate rooms, likely dedicated to the triad of gods Jupiter, Juno and Minerva. The excavations are still underway... and we have already identified an older, deeper layer of ruins dating back to the 4th century BC when the Umbrian people (an ancient Italic tribe who predated the Romans) lived in the area. The entire temple could be even larger than what we now see."


Federica Gonzato, superintendent of fine arts, archaeology and landscapes for the provinces of Ravenna, Rimini and Forlì-Cesena in eastern Emilia Romagna, gave an update about the sports complex and supermarket plans. Gonzato said the plans are still in place, but they will be altered a bit to adjust to the discovery, as they do not want to harm the relic. Explaining the history of the relic, Gonzato said: "The marvelous quality of the stones has been spared from sacks, enemy invasions and plunders across millennia thanks to the remote location of Sarsina, a quiet spot distant from larger cities. Temples such as this one (were) regularly plundered, exploited as quarries with stones and marble slabs taken away to be re-used to build new homes."


Gonzato added that such discoveries are what makes Italy and its history so special. The researchers now hope to unearth more secrets from this structure as it is located near many historically crucial sites. Ravenna, which is located a short distance from the relic, was the place where Umbri was acknowledged as Italian tribal allies of the Roman Republic in 89 BCE. In addition to this, Ravenna also welcomed Julius Caesar and his forces during his expedition.

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