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Ancient Rome was one of the biggest cradles of civilisation in ancient times. Dating back to almost 2,000 years, the Pantheon, one of the most influential buildings of ancient Rome is a true architectural wonder. The spectacular design, proportions, elegance and harmony are a testament to the brilliant craftsmanship of that era.
In a recent discovery, it was revealed that a sinkhole measuring 10 feet in width and 8 feet in depth has opened up in front of the Pantheon. Inside, archaeologists found seven ancient slabs made of travertine, a type of sedimentary rock, that appear to date as far back as 27 BC. The unexpected treasure hidden below Piazza della Rotunda’s streets were designed by Marcus Agripa, deputy of emperor Augustus, who overlooked the construction of the Pantheon. The building was destroyed by fire and the second one struck by lightning. The Pantheon as we know it today was built in 125 AD by Emperor Hadrian.
However, these stones in question aren’t completely new discoveries. In the 1990s, the local authorities in a bid to lay service lines unearthed these paving stones, but instead of excavating these artefacts, they chose to leave them underground and they have remained at the site ever since.
Though no one was injured, the area has been closed to the public. Reports suggest that had it been the peak tourist season, it would have caused a significant amount of damage. As per Italian Institute for Environmental Protection and Research (ISPRA), such incidents of sinkholes opening have become a lot more common of late in Rome.
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