The eternal City still holds beautiful treasures. Italian archaeologists have yet experienced during a speech made a few days ago in Rome. In one of the rooms of the Domus Aurea (The Golden House), the imperial palace built by Nero in the first century, scientists have discovered, through an opening, an unfamiliar room decorated with frescoes.

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Dubbed “The room of the sphinx”, this room largely buried and only the canopy is for the time being visible, “tells the atmosphere of the 60s of the first century a.d. in Rome,” explains the archaeological park of the Colosseum in a statement released Friday.

A bestiary of the quite well-preserved Representation of a silhouette army in the face of a panther. Parco archeologico del Colosseo

The pictorial decoration of the vault is “quite visible and quite well preserved,” explain the experts. On a white background are represented “frames drawn in red, contorted by lines of yellow-tan with gold-toned stripes interspersed by a dense series of plant elements”. In each of these frames appear in different animal forms: panther, birds, centaurs cabrés, a sphinx isolated… But as musical instruments. Architects and archaeologists have upgraded the security and consolidation of the frescoes before considering a further phase of excavation to clear the room in its entirety.

Built between 64 and 68 a.d., the immense and sumptuous Domus Aurea occupied with its buildings, gardens and artificial lake in the centre of ancient Rome. After the death of Nero in 68 a.d., his successors wanted to destroy everything which recalled her memory. Trajan fit and cover the Domus Aurea of earth, while Vespasian began the construction of the famous Colosseum to the location of the artificial lake.

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Of all, abandoned for centuries, it remains today as remnants jealously preserved. The site was rediscovered in the Renaissance by the great artists – including Raphael – who had managed to slip into a room through a hole drilled in the roof to discover the magnificent frescoes, which they are then inspired.

Another treasure rediscovered recently in the same area, the Domus transitional standard, the first remains of Nero from 54 to 64 is open to the public for a month. If it remains only little of vestiges of the palaces once adorned with gold leaf and precious stones, the visitor can rediscover the magnificence of the house thanks to the virtual reality.

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