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Roman temple found under president's house

June 1, 2007 at 12:31 AM   |   Comments

ROME, May 31 (UPI) -- An Italian archaeologist says he believes that the presidential palace in Rome is sitting on top of a temple to the Roman god Quirinus.

Andrea Carandini, a professor at Rome University, used radar scans to look for structures in the grounds of the Palazzo del Quirinale, the Italian news agency Ansa reported. The palace is on the Quirinal Hill, named after Quirinus.

Carandini said his scans show what may be porticos built during a renovation of the temple by Julius Caesar and his nephew, the Emperor Augustus. The porticos are under the palazzo's English Garden.

Quirinus was a god of the Sabine people and became conflated with the deified Romulus, one of the brothers said to have founded Rome. The temple is said to have been built originally in the fourth century B.C.

Carandini said the temple can only be positively identified by excavation. His scans have shown signs of other ancient buildings under the palace.

© 2007 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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