The walls of the domus had been leveled at a height of five feet and the rooms filled in with dirt, suggesting that it had been intentionally buried during the third century, just before the Roman Emperor Aurelian began building the protective walls that would encircle the city, in 271 A.D.
The excavation also unearthed rare wooden artifacts, such as wood forms used to build foundations, as well as beams. “You normally don’t find wood remains in Rome,” Ms. Morretta noted, but with the subway lines traveling at nearly 100 feet below ground, archaeologists have been able to excavate deeper than usual.
As of now, 21 of 24 stations of the new route, Line C, which links the city center to an area east of Rome, are operational. The much anticipated San Giovanni station, which will showcase some of the artifacts found during its construction, is expected to open soon.
The domus and the warehouse will be removed from the site and temporarily preserved in special containers while construction on the Amba Aradam station continues. The ruins will eventually be returned to the site to form the centerpiece — visible to passengers — of the modern station, which is scheduled to open in 2022.
The station will be “one-of-a-kind,” Ms. Morretta said — and she’s hopeful there will be more to show off.
“We have four more meters to excavate,” she said. “We have no idea what we will find.”