Boost in hunt for birthplace of Rome's first emperor

A TEAM of archaeologists announced yesterday that they had uncovered part of what they believed to be the birthplace of Rome's first emperor, Augustus.

Clementina Panella, a leading archaeologist, said the team had dug up part of a corridor and other fragments under Rome's Palatine Hill, which she described as "a very ancient aristocratic house".

Ms Panella said that she could not yet be certain that the house was where Augustus was born in 63BC, but added that historical cross-checks and other findings nearby had shown that the emperor was particularly fond of the area.

Excavations on the Palatine in recent decades have turned up wonders such as another renewed Augustus' house, including two rooms with frescoes of masked figures and pine branches.

Ms Panella said there were at least two houses on the Palatine where the emperor was known to have lived. Much of the detail has yet to be uncovered, as it is hidden away in underground passageways.

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