slave tunnel beneath Hadrian’s Villa

Archaeologists discover hidden slave tunnel beneath Hadrian’s Villa

(Read the article on one page)

A team of archaeologists have found a very large hidden tunnel beneath Hadrian’s Villa near Rome, which would have been used by slaves to ferry food, fire wood and other goods from one part of the sprawling imperial palace to another without being seen by the emperor or his imperial dignitaries.

Hadrian’s Villa is a vast country estate on 250 acres in Tivoli, Italy, which consisted of more than 30 major buildings including palaces, libraries, heated baths, theatres, courtyards and landscaped gardens. It was built in the 2nd century AD by Hadrian, Roman Emperor from 117 to 138, and was the largest ever constructed in the Roman period.

Beneath the complex, archaeologists have already found more than two miles of tunnels and passageways, but the latest discovery is far larger than the rest and at 10 feet wide was big enough to have taken carts and wagons. It has been dubbed by archaeologists the Great Underground Road — in Italian the Strada Carrabile.

“All the majesty of the villa is reflected underground,” Vittoria Fresi, the archaeologist leading the research project said.  “The underground network helps us to understand the structures that are above ground.”

In contrast to the palace, which fell into disrepair after the fall of the Roman Empire, the underground network remains “almost intact”.

Heritage officials are now planning to open up the underground network of passageways to the public, revealing for the first time an intriguing subterranean world which lay buried for nearly two millennia.

By April Holloway

Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Myths & Legends

Demons in Your Toilet? Guardians of the Sewers and How They Protected Ancient Latrines
As a ritual symbol of purification, water plays a key role in the public space of hygiene and sanitary activities as well as in almost all religions past and present. From the first moment mankind invented rituals and deities, the notion of purification was attached to the act of ritual ablutions. The very act of washing was not only about cleaning oneself from dirt - it also freed one from spiritual impurities.

Ancient Technology

The School of Athens
Much of modern science was known in ancient times. Robots and computers were a reality long before the 1940´s. The early Bronze Age inhabitants of the Levant used computers in stone, the Greeks in the 2nd century BC invented an analogue computer known as the Antikythera mechanism. An ancient Hindu book gives detailed instructions for the construction of an aircraft –ages before the Wright brothers. Where did such knowledge come from?

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article