Rome’s Forum to host hundreds of antiquities never before seen

Remnants of ancient life — including dice, decorations depicting mythological figures, and offerings 3,000 years old — have long been hidden from public sight.

Archaeologist Giacomo Boni’s excavations during the early 20th century revealed many tombs of children. Some of these tombs date back to the 10th century B.C. – centuries before the construction the Roman Forum – the heart of the city’s political and economic life.

In one case, the skeleton is largely intact. It was about 1.6 meters (5 feet 4 inches) tall. This was taller than average for the time period (10th century B.C.). The bronze clasp of a belt that was used to bury him has survived. In his tomb, grains from funeral rites were found and displayed. The layers of mud that formed during Rome’s earliest days helped to preserve the remains.

The director of Colosseum Archaeological Park stated that staff was working on making an inventory of artifacts stored in more than one hundred storerooms. Until now, the contents of these rooms were only accessible to academics.

Visitors to the Roman Forum, Colosseum or Palatine Hill can view the antiquities.

Tiziana Fabi / AFP – Getty Images

The director AlfonsinaRusso told The Associated Press that “we want to in some way make objects come into light which would otherwise be invisible to the public.”

Russo stated, “We are talking about objects that tell stories, not big stories, but daily, everyday life.

During 90-minute guided tours, every Friday from June to July, visitors will be able to admire antiquities that have been pulled out of the storage rooms. Only eight people can enter each “tabernae”, which are small exhibition rooms. Visitors must purchase an entry ticket for the archaeological park and make reservations. Officials from the park have expressed their hope that this initiative will be renewed or extended.

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