ROMA ARCHEOLOGIA e RESTAURO ARCHITETTURA: Rome unveils ‘museum’ metro station packed with hundreds of ancient artefacts found during construction. THE LONDON SUNDAY TIMES (06/05/2017), THE TELEGRAPH, U.K. (05/05/2017), & Prof. Filippo Lambertucci, ROMA METRO C – Procedia Engineering 165 (2016), 104 – 113 [Science Direct 2017]. PDF, 1-10, in ENGLISH.

1). ROME – Museum pieces distract Roman commuters – Passengers at San Giovanni station can view artefacts dug up during its construction. THE LONDON SUNDAY TIMES (06/05/2017).

Frustrated by the constant discovery of ancient artefacts as it digs its new underground rail line, the city of Rome has decided to take advantage of the difficulty and turn its newest underground station into an archaeological museum.

Commuters catching high-tech driverless trains at San Giovanni station will file past glass cases containing 2,000-year-old amphorae, oil lamps, jewellery and irrigation pipes, all part of an vast haul of 40,000 artefacts dug up during its construction.

“The moment you go down the steps you go back in time,” said Francesco Prosperetti, Rome’s archaeological superintendent, during a visit to the €50 million station yesterday. As they descend into the station, commuters will see panels indicating the depth they are at, and the historical period to which it corresponds.

At 14m, they are level with the third century AD, when the area was just outside Rome’s new city walls and all buildings were levelled to prevent enemies creeping up on the city. “Instead the neighbourhood was used for burials,” said Rosella Rea, the city official who set up the museum.

At 19m, experts found peach stones — which are on display — dating from the first century AD, when the area had imported the first peach trees from Persia to grow on a farm feeding the imperial city. By the time they reach the platforms, commuters are level with the arrival of Neanderthals in Europe.

It is hoped that the museum will help commuters forget the six-year delay opening the station, as well as the distinct possibility that some stops down the line in the heart of Rome may never open, thanks to a mix of cost overruns, bad management and archaeology. The C line’s next station is due to open in 2021, but a huge ancient Roman barracks has been unearthed on the site.

Ms Rea said that locals were happy with the new station-museum. “We had 11,000 come in for an open day recently, similar to the numbers we get at the Colosseum,” she said. All that is missing are the trains, which are due to begin running in the autumn.



2). ROME – Rome unveils ‘museum’ metro station packed with hundreds of ancient artefacts found during construction. THE TELELGRAPH, U.K. (05/05/2017)

ROME – or Romans, the daily commute will never be the same again. The city on Friday unveiled a brand new underground station that boasts a trove of archeological treasures that were found during its construction.

They range from iron spearheads and gold coins decorated with emperors’ heads to a delicate perfume bottle made from turquoise glass and marble statues of scantily-clad nymphs.

There are giant amphorae, bronze fish hooks from an ancient Roman fish farm, the remains of a first century BC woven basket and even a collection of 2,000 year old peach stones, from when the area was a rich farming estate providing food for the imperial elite.

They are all displayed in softly-lit glass-fronted panels throughout San Giovanni metro station, located a couple of hundred yards from the grand papal basilica of St John in Lateran and close to the capital’s historic centre.

As passengers descend the station’s stairways, they will travel back in time, from the Middle Ages to Imperial Rome and right back to Republican Rome. The deeper they get, the further back in history they go.

On the station’s walls, key dates in the history of the city are marked, from the building of defensive walls by the Emperor Aurelius in the third century AD to the sacking of the city by the Vandals in 455 AD and the end of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD.

Down at the bottom of the shiny new station, where trains will arrive, passengers will find themselves back in the Pleistocene age, at a depth of 100ft beneath ground level. “It’s a sort of time machine – the further down you go in the station, the further you reach back into the history of Rome,” said Francesco Prosperetti, the superintendent of the city’s archaeological department.

The fact that engineers had to dig down so deep in order to build the station gave archaeologists an “unprecedented” opportunity to study every layer of Rome’s past, right back to when it was not even inhabited by humans. “The project allowed us to reach depths that, as archaeologists, we never normally reach,” he said.

Rossella Rea, the archaeologist who was in charge of the project, said: “The whole history of Rome is here.” For much of the Roman era, the area was a rich agricultural zone where a sophisticated irrigation system allowed the cultivation of fruit, vegetables and flowers. “They were luxury goods for the wealthy people of the city,” she said.

More than 40,000 artifacts were found during the decade-long construction project, with the most interesting now on display.

“We’ve tried to create an immersive experience for passengers,” said Filippo Lambertucci [SEE BELOW = “Procedia Engineering 165 (2016), 104 – 113”], a professor of archaeology from Rome’s La Sapienza University. “It sheds light on the daily life of ancient Romans and people living in subsequent centuries.”

San Giovanni is one of 30 stations on Rome’s new metro line, the city’s third. Work on the station has finished but other parts of the line are still to be completed, so San Giovanni will not open to the public until the end of the year.

It will be the first of two “museum-stations” along the new line. During digging for another station, to be called Amba Aradam, engineers stumbled across the remains of a Praetorian Guard barracks.

The second century AD barracks, believed to have been constructed under the Emperor Hadrian, was discovered 30ft underground.

Engineers plan to incorporate it into the modern station, which is due to be finished in 2021. Rome’s Metro C line, which will augment the existing A and B lines, has been plagued by delays since it began nearly a decade ago, in part caused by the frequent discovery of archeological remains.


— THE TELELGRAPH, U.K. (05/05/2017).


ROMA ARCHEOLOGIA e RESTAURO ARCHITETTURA: Roma, il Viaggio nel tempo nella nuova stazione San Giovanni della Metro C. LA REPUBBLICA (31/03/2017).

— 2.1). ROMA – “Nella nuova stazione della metro C di San Giovanni,” in: ROMA ARCHEOLOGIA e RESTAURO ARCHITETTURA: The Metro C Archaeological Surveys (2006-11): MIBAC / SSBAR – Archeologia e Metropolitana linea (C) a Roma. ARCHEOLOGIA E INFRASTRUTTURE (10/2009) & Archeologia e Metropolitana linea (C) PRIME INDAGINI ARCHEOLOGICHE (2008-17). FOTO & STAMPA 1- 54.


— ROMA ARCHEOLOGIA e RESTAURO ARCHITETTURA: Filippo Lambertucci,* “[ROMA METRO C] Archaeo-mobility. Integrating archaeological heritage with everyday life,” Procedia Engineering 165 (2016), 104 – 113 [Science Direct 2017]. PDF, 1-10.