A stone pool 48 meters long and 12 meters wide was found between Rome and Ostia, an important coastal city during the Roman Empire.
Italian archaeologists announced the discovery of a large stone pool dating to the 4th century B.C. outside Rome.
The pool is located close to Via Ostiense and Via di Malafede, which connect Rome to Ostia, a very important coastal city during the Roman Empire.
Since June 2019, the Special Superintendence of Rome has been leading preventive archeology work in that region to study it as much as possible before human or environmental activity damages the site.
More than 20 thousand square meters have been explored so far, work that has been far from easy considering the abundance of groundwater from the Tiber River.
“A discovery that renews the astonishment of Rome and the endless stories that have yet to be told about the city,” said Daniela Porro, one of the researchers, in a statement.
“[This finding] proves how Rome, even outside its borders, still has a lot to reveal.”
A sacred site
Archaeologists had previously discovered the wreckage of another structure at the archaeological site, a building from the 5th century BC and painted terracotta fragments, including some that suggest that there was a sacred site there.
The recently found pool is connected to this structure via a stone ramp. The function of this pool, however, is still a mystery, as nothing like it has been found previously.
The researchers believe that it may have been used as a water reservoir, but further studies are needed to confirm this hypothesis, as its structure resembles that of other ancient buildings from the same period.
Centuries of occupation
At the end of the 3rd century B.C. the region underwent major changes and, according to experts, the building that was once a place of worship started to have a commercial function.
The complex was abandoned in the first century B.C. for reasons that are still unclear, but that does not mean that the entire region was abandoned.
Artifacts from the 4th century A.D. were also found there, indicating that the area remained occupied for hundreds of years.
Also, they found evidence that the archaeological site was already occupied in the Neolithic (12,000-1900 B.C.), long before the people who built the pool.
“We hope that the study of the many objects that have come to light, including pieces of wood, terracotta objects, metal artifacts and inscriptions, will reveal the secrets of this extraordinary corner of ancient Rome,” said Barbara Rossi, the scientific director of the project.