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On Wednesday, archeologists revealed the remains of an ancient arts center underneath Rome dating back to 123 AD, according to the Guardian.

Emperor Hadrian is believed to have funded “the Athenaeum,” as it was known at the time; it was a 900-seat complex created to promote arts and culture, CBS News reports. Archeologists discovered the arts center during excavations for a new subway line to run through the Italian capital.

“Hadrian’s auditorium is the biggest find in Rome since the Forum was uncovered in the 1920s,” said Rossella Rea, an archeologist working on the project.



A view of the excavation site with the remains of an ancient auditorium where scholars, politicians and poets held debates and lectures, in Rome, Wednesday Oct. 21, 2009. In background, the Vittoriano monument to the unknown soldier. Italian archeologists unveiled Wednesday the site discovered during excavations of a bustling downtown piazza in preparation for a new subway line. The partially dug complex, dating back to the 2nd century A.D., is believed to have been funded by Emperor Hadrian.


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