On Friday, archaeologists unveiled an altar in the Italian city of Rome that was probably made in honor of one of the city’s mythical founders, Romulus.
This is a small underground space with a simple sarcophagus, as well as a round stone block. The space was already found in the Roman Forum at the end of the last century, but recent research suggests that it is a memorial for the first king of the Italian city.
The space was probably built in the sixth century BC, in the oldest part of the Roman city. In historical texts, this part of the city is directly linked to King Romulus.
The altar is placed beneath a meeting room where Roman senators met and is also close to the ‘Lapis Niger’, a black marble stone that covers an area where King Romulus was buried according to Roman mythology.
No human remains were found in the sarcophagus, so archaeologists exclude the possibility that it was a tomb.
Romulus and brother Remus were raised by wolf
According to Roman mythology, Romulus and his brother Remus were the sons of Mars, the god of war. The two were left as babies along the Tiber River, where they were found by a wolf. This wolf is said to have nursed and raised the children.
The brothers were said to have founded Rome together around 753 BC, after which they argued about who was allowed to rule the city. Romulus killed his brother Remus and assumed dominion.
Statue of Romulus and Remus being suckled by a wolf. (Photo: Getty Images)