Buon Compleanno, Roma! The Eternal City May Be Older Than We Thought!

As the city of Rome prepares to celebrate its 2,767th birthday on April 21, archeologists have uncovered evidence that the city may be even older than they thought.

Tradition is that the city of Rome was founded on April 21, 753 B.C. by two brothers, Romulus and Remus, who were raised by a wolf.

But on Sunday, April 13, archeologists reported that they’d unearthed evidence of a wall which had been constructed at least 200 years earlier than that.  Patrizia Fortini, head of the Roman Forum to the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage of Rome, reported that the newly uncovered wall dates to well before the city’s traditional founding, probably to some 900 years before Christ.

According to the Italian newspaper Il Messaggero, the limestone structure is composed of volcanic tuff, and seems to have been constructed to channel water from an aquifer under the Capitoline hill that flows into the river Spino, a tributary of the Tiber.  The find is even more spectacular than that:  Beside the remains of the limestone wall, archeologists found pottery shards and remains of food (cereals).

Fortini reported that the wall discovered was resting on gravel sediments which were 7,000 years old, and clay silt deposited around 4,000 years ago.

Besides the potential redating of the founding of Rome, archeologists may eventually rewrite the geological map of the Roman Forum.


  • crazylikeknoxes

    Cras amet qui nunquam amavit; quique amavit cras amet!

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    Oh, 753 BC will always stand as the founding of Rome. The Romans wrote it into their history and it will take an act of God to change that perception. Just because there was a wall there a couple of hundred years earlier doesn’t mean it was the Romans. Could have been some other culture.

    • HowardRichards

      The Etruscans, for example? Quite possibly.

      • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

        Yes, that’s my thought.

    • Barry Coleman

      We are speaking here of the City of Rome, not Roman culture. The founding of Rome by Remus and Romulus is a mythical account. Clearly the city, hence the “Roman people” are older than 753 BC and Rome became a “Power” only around 320 when they conquered Lazio (the region around Rome).

      Also in that region lived the “Latins” as well, not only the Etruscans.

      Probably the “original Romans” are indeed a mix between latins and etruscans.

      After all the Romans were/are the inhabitants of the city of Rome… and later the inhabitants of the Roman empire with a liegal citizenship.

      The fifth and seventh (mythical) Roman Kings, Tarquinius Priscus and Tarquinius Superbus have a n Etruscan names and are said to be of Etruscan birth.

      • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

        True enough. But if there were a Neanderthal village on that spot four thousand years before even that, would it still be Rome? Just because there was a city at that spot prior to 753 doesn’t necessarily make it Rome.

  • crazylikeknoxes

    If I remember my Vergil rightly, when Aeneas (who predates the founding of the City by a number of generations) visited the site of the future Urbs Aeterna he found someone already living where the Forum would once stand.

    • HowardRichards

      And of course, that’s what you would expect. A good site for a city in one century is often a good site for a city in another century, the main exception being when the course of a river changes or a harbor silts up.

  • cpsho

    O Rome. O Rome, would that even today you knew the things that
    make for peace! But now they are hid from your eyes. For the days
    shall come upon you, when your enemies will cast up a bank about you
    and surround you, and hem you in on every side, and dash you to the
    ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave one
    stone upon another in you; because you did not know the time of your
    As it happened in Jerusalem in 70 AD so will it happen in Rome within a generation unless the city repents of homosexuality and idolatry
    (cf Revelation 18 v 1 – 24)

    • Barry Coleman

      I would be carefull about private revelations and private interpretations of the Book of Revelation.

      Also there is a difference between Rome and Jerusalem. Jerusalem hosted the Temple, upon which the whole jewish priesthood rested upon (that is why there are no Jewish priests now). Rome is only the seat of the successor of Peter, the Pope, but the Pope could live anywhere (and for a time lived in Avignon, in the middle ages).

      • cpsho

        Fair enough. But still the fate of Jerusalem in 70 AD awaits Rome unless there is repentance from homosexuality (which is the Mark of the Beast – 666) and idolatry (which is the devotion revealed to Sr. Faustina). Within a generation. We (at least many of us alive now) will be living eyewitnesses as the events unfold.

  • Barry Coleman

    Hi Kathy, I would like to note that there two mistakes above.

    You report “Fortini reported that the wall discovered was resting on gravel sediments which were 7,000 years old, and clay silt deposited around 4,000 years ago.”

    But Il Messaggero says:

    “Le murature oggi scoperte – conclude la Fortini – poggiano su sedimenti di ghiaie di 700mila anni fa, e su limi argillosi deposti intorno a 400mila anni fa.”

    IE: The walls discovered today – concludes Fortini – rest on gravel sediments deposited 700 thousand (so not 7000) ago and clay silt deposited 400 thousand (so not 4000) years ago.

    Which of course makes sense, such deposits cannot be only a few thoudans years old.