Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Archaeologists discover Roman 'free choice' cemetery in the 2,700-year-old ancient port of Rome

A photo shows a marble floor part of the last discoveries at the Parco dei Ravennati excavation site in Ostia Antica on July 17, 2014 near Rome. The American Institute for Roman Culture organized a visit of the site today to present new evidences of multiple domestic spaces and commercial activities in the Parco dei Ravennati, alongside the ancient Tiber River course (now silted over), in a place previously considered only a necropolis. AFP PHOTO / ANDREAS SOLARO. By: Laure Brumont

Archaeologists in Italy have uncovered a cemetery in the 2,700-year-old ancient port of Rome where they believe the variety of tombs found reflects the bustling town's multi-cultural nature. Ostia "was a town that was always very open, very dynamic," said Paola Germoni, the director of the sprawling site -- Italy's third most visited after the Colosseum and Pompeii. "What is original is that there are different types of funeral rites: burials and cremations," she said this week. The contrasts are all the more startling as the tombs found are all from a single family -- "in the Roman sense, in other words very extended", Germoni said. 

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