Every inch of Rome is steeped in cultural importance and value. And this is true, even when digging 20 feet underground. This is what happened when Rome’s Subway was being expanded. While excavating beneath the city, the workers discovered gold rings, glasswork, and other ancient artefacts. This has slowed the construction of the metro to a crawl. All the artefacts had to be carefully excavated and shifted to a safer location before work could continue. A bulldozer operator working at the Amba Aradam metro stop, Gilberto Pagani said “I found some gold rings. I found glasswork laminated in gold depicting a Roman god, some amphoras.”
According to State Archaeologist, Simona Moretta, “I think it’s the luckiest thing that’s ever happened to me, professionally speaking. Because you never get the chance in a regular excavation to dig so deep. That’s how we’ve found architectural complexes as important as this.”At the Amba Aradam location, they have found a home of a military commander adjacent to the barracks. Studies show it to be constructed during the reign of the emperor Hadian in the 2nd century AD. The home had a central courtyard with ornamental mosaics, marble slab floors, and painted frescoes.
All these delays have pushed the grand opening date from its original 2000. This is because the excavating machinery often has to be stopped when they discover another ancient settlement. There are also delays due to investigations on runaway spending and waste by contractors and government associations. In May 2018, the city got the San Giovanni metro station that links the C line to the existing lines. The C line is also the only one with fully automated trains. There have been plenty of delays to the opening of the metro station. One of the reasons was that the station walls are lined with artefacts excavated during the construction of the subway. You can take a look at this subway museum for just a $1.75 metro ticket.
The Amba Aradam with its Roman military barracks is still being excavated Simona Moretta said “All that we’ve found here — the mosaics, everything — will be taken down, put inside special containers, then reassembled inside the metro stop. It will be a little museum, with all the barracks in the exact same position.” The excavations are going slow and the opening is expected to be during the summer of 2022. Until then, the public is going to have to wait to see the perfectly assembled military barracks. In the end, the subway system is a goldmine of treasures. So, there’s hope that will give us a greater insight into the Ancient Romans’ lives.