A hidden tunnel is found in Hadrian's Villa

A hidden tunnel is found in Hadrian's Villa

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Italian archaeologists have found a hidden tunnel under Hadrian's Villa, near Rome. It is thought to be part of a network of galleries and passageways possibly used by slaves in the service of the imperial palace.

Its size allows food carts and other products between the different palaces.

The city ​​in Tivoli, east of Rome, was built by Hadrian in the 2nd century AD. and it was the largest built so far in Rome. It consisted of 30 huge buildings. Although it is known as a town, it is actually a very large state that includes palaces, bookstores, thermal baths, theaters and gardens. There were also pools adorned with figures like marble crocodiles, and an artificial island in the middle of a pond.

Under the building are more than three kilometers of tunnels that allowed the passage of slaves from one building to another without being seen by the emperor and his hosts. This tunnel is larger than those found so far. It was discovered when archaeologists working at the site found a hole in the ground, hidden behind some bushes, but leading to the main gallery and heading first to the northeast, then south.

The majesty of the city is also reflected underground”, Says Vittoria Fresi, archaeologist in charge of the project. "This underground network helps us understand lower level structures. Unlike the palace, deteriorated with the fall of the Roman Empire, this underground network remains almost intact”, Explains the archaeologist.

A society of amateur archaeologists have been in charge of carrying out the exploration of the tunnel using the technique of mountain descent and with the technology of robots controlled by cable equipped with cameras. They have had to face obstacles such as debris accumulated over time that blocked the way.

Estate officers intend to organize guided tours of the tunnels in autumn. “After a lot of work, we are preparing certain areas to be able to take guided tours”Confirmed Benedetta Adembri, director of Villa Adriano.

Hadrian, who built the defensive wall in the north of England, was a fan of architecture, so inspired by his travels to Greece and Egypt, he incorporated certain architectural designs into the construction of his villa. In his palace he included fountains, dining rooms, rooms for courtiers, slaves, and the Praetorian Guard.

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Video: Hadrians Villa revisited