The ” pomeriche ” stones were placed around the heart of the city of Rome and delimited an area considered sacred which could neither be cultivated nor built and which could not be crossed by weapons (except special instructions from the authorities). These stones were numerous, large, documented, and considered important for the definition of the city. During excavation for the renovation of a sewer, workers discovered one of them by pure chance.
image credit: Roma/Twitter
In the Eternal City, no excavation is possible without coming into contact with history. And so, a group of workers involved in a sewer renovation project made a very important archaeological discovery. It had been over a hundred years since the famous “pomeriche” stones, these monumental travertine walls that surrounded the heart of the city, had not been found.
An important ritual that, according to tradition, began with the founder of Rome, Romulus. The walls were built with the intention of differentiating the first urban structures from the immense surrounding nature. According to ancient Roman law, everything inside the pomerium was part of the city of Rome (called ” urbs “) and everything beyond was a simple territory (called ” ager “). . Between the inner and outer walls was a sacred space where evil spirits were imprisoned and which could not be crossed by weapons.
As the population grew, this important area of the city expanded. This stone, in particular, dates from A.D. 48, when Emperor Claudius reigned in Rome. “This is a remarkable find because the founding act of Rome begins with the making of this pomerium, ” Claudio Parisi Presicce, director of the archaeological museums of Rome, said at a press conference announcing the find. . The word “post medium” indicates the area inside the wall that was considered sacred. Legend has it that Romulus killed Remus precisely because he had walked through the armed pomerium, an action considered very seriously.
According to tradition, the pomerium could only be extended by a magistrate – an official of the Republic – who had extended Roman territory, and so Claudius seems to have cited his conquest of Britain in AD 43 as justification for doing so. Until the site is completed, the stone will be on display at the Ara Pacis Museum, built around a nearby monument commissioned by the Roman Senate – the ruling assembly of ancient Rome – in honor of Emperor Augustus in 13 BC