Ancient Roman stadium opens

Oct. 10, 2008 at 6:22 PM

POZZUOLI, Italy, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- The Roman stadium where Emperor Antoninus Pius staged Rome's version of the Olympic Games will be open this weekend for the first time in almost 500 years.

Archaeologists have so far excavated half of the stadium, which was built of volcanic rock around 142 A.D. near Naples, and was buried by volcanic ash in 1538 following an eruption by Mount Nuovo, ANSA reported Friday.

''Like the great Italian culture capitals of Florence, Venice, Rome and Urbino, Pozzuoli can also take advantage of its illustrious past, which is reflowering from the bowels of the earth,'' said Pozzuoli Mayor Pasquale Giacobbe.

In 1931, a road was built through the middle of the ancient stadium, which complicated the excavation project, the Italian news service reported.

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