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Weird News Sinkhole opens near the Pantheon, revealing 2,000-year-old Roman paving stones

13:05  14 may  2020
13:05  14 may  2020 Source:   livescience.com

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A sinkhole that opened in front of the Pantheon in Rome has revealed 2 , 000 - year - old stone A sinkhole unexpectedly opened up in front of the Pantheon in Rome last month, revealing imperial Related: Photos: Gladiators of the Roman Empire. The stones uncovered by the sinkhole were

The ancient paving was first laid down around the time of the Pantheon 's original construction between 27 and 25 B.C. A sinkhole that opened up in front of the ancient Pantheon in Rome has revealed a surprise: original Roman paving installed 2 , 000 years ago when the historic structure was first built.

a group of people on a sidewalk in front of a building: Archaeological investigations following the opening of a sinkhole in Piazza della Rotonda in front of the Pantheon in Rome have unearthed the ancient pavement of the imperial era. © Provided by Live Science Archaeological investigations following the opening of a sinkhole in Piazza della Rotonda in front of the Pantheon in Rome have unearthed the ancient pavement of the imperial era.

A sinkhole unexpectedly opened up in front of the Pantheon in Rome last month, revealing imperial paving stones that were laid over a millennia ago, news sources report. 

The sinkhole, located in the Piazza della Rotonda, is almost 10 square feet (1 square meter) wide and just over 8 feet (2.5 m) deep. Inside the hole, archaeologists found seven ancient slabs made of travertine, a type of sedimentary rock. 

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A massive sinkhole has opened up close to the Pantheon in Rome, revealing paving stones which were laid in Imperial Rome, as footage filmed on Wednesday shows. Blocks of the original square emerged in Piazza della Rotonda, measuring about 1 square metre in area and just over

W/S Sinkhole in front of the Pantheon , Rome M/S Sinkhole M/S Archaeologist Marta Baumgartner and her assistant C/U Marta Baumgartner M/S W/S Pantheon W/S Pantheon SCRIPT A massive sinkhole has opened up close to the Pantheon in Rome, revealing paving stones which were laid

Luckily, no one was hurt when the sinkhole collapsed on the afternoon of April 27, because the normally crowded piazza was empty due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sinkholes like this one, however, are becoming an increasingly common problem in Rome. 

The stones uncovered by the sinkhole were created around the same time that the Pantheon was built, from 27 B.C. to 25 B.C., according to Daniela Porro, Rome special superintendent. They were designed by Marcus Agrippa, a friend of Emperor Augustus, Porro told Italian news agency ANSA. However, the Pantheon and the piazza were completely rebuilt sometime between A.D. 118 and 128 by the emperor Hadrian, and the area was further modified at the beginning of the third century by the emperors Septimius Severus and Caracalla, according to Encyclopedia Britannica.

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“A sinkhole unexpectedly opened up in front of the Pantheon in Rome last month, revealing imperial paving stones that were laid over a millennia ago, news sources report. “ A sinkhole that opened in front of the Pantheon in Rome has revealed 2 , 000 - year - old stone pavers.

Sinkhole opens near the Pantheon in Rome, revealing 2 , 000 - year - old Roman paving stones | Luckily, no one was hurt when the sinkhole collapsed on the afternoon of April 27, because the normally crowded piazza was empty due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This find is actually a rediscovery: The slabs were first found in the 1990s, when service lines were being laid in the piazza, according to ANSA. The new sinkhole swallowed about 40 sanpietrini, or cobblestones, which fell into a service tunnel holding cables and pipelines, according to Roma Today. 

Sinkholes, called "voragine" in Italian, are now fairly common in Rome. For most of the past 100 years or so, Rome typically experienced 30 voragini or other collapses every year; but that number began tripling starting in 2009, according to The Local, an Italian news outlet. For example, in 2018 the city counted a record-breaking 175 sinkholes, and 2019 brought 100 of these voragini, The Local reported. By comparison, Naples had 20 reported sinkholes in 2019.

What causes these sinkholes? Ancient human-made cavities, including those from quarrying, tunneling and constructing catacombs, have made the ground unstable, especially after heavy rainfall.

"The most sensitive area is eastern Rome, where materials were quarried in ancient times," geologist Stefania Nisio, who is working on a project to map Rome's sinkholes, told Adnkronos. "The main cause of a sinkhole in the city is the presence of an underground cavity."

In addition, much of Rome sits on soft, sandy soil that is easily eroded by water and shaken by the vibrations of cars and scooters, The Local reported. 

The city's leaders announced a multi-million-euro plan to fix its streets in 2018, but progress has been slow, according to The Local. Until these upgrades are made, sinkholes may continue to reveal ancient architecture and artifacts, such as these paving stones. 

"This is further evidence of Rome's inestimable archaeological riches," Porro told ANSA.

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