Nero's 'Sphinx Room', hidden for two millennia, comes to light

A team of archaeologists has discovered a new room of the Domus Aurea, the immense palatial complex of Emperor Nero, a room richly decorated with a sphinx and centa


A team of archaeologists has discovered a new room of the Domus Aurea, the immense palatial complex of Emperor Nero , a room richly decorated with a sphinx and centaurs that has remained hidden for the past two millennia.

The experts agreed for the first time to this room of which only its upper part can be seen, since the lower part is buried by the accumulated sediments, reported today the Archaeological Park of the Colosseum , in Rome, to which the site of the Domus Aurea belongs.

It is a vaulted room, well preserved and richly decorated , with red boxes on a white background containing inside mythological figures painted with intense colors.

One of them represents a warrior armed with a sword, shield and a quiver to carry arrows that fight against a panther, and also representations of centaurs and the Pan faun, wild deity and shepherds in Hellenic mythology.

One of the frescoes that decorate the newly discovered room in the Domus Aurea.

In these walls there are also real and fantastic aquatic creatures, a landscape with birds, drawings of columns, all decorated with plant motifs, garlands, and wakes of colors such as green, yellow or red.

But the most representative painting is the one that has given its name to the room , a solitary sphinx that stands on what appears to be a Betilo , a sacred object with a conical shape.

They are the typical figures with which the Romans of that time decorated the rooms and are repeated in other places of the Domus, ordered built by this emperor of the Julia-Claudia dynasty after the fire destroyer of 64 AD on the Opium Hill in Rome.

The director of the site, Alfonsina Russo , celebrated this discovery because it considers that it will serve to "narrate the atmosphere of the first years of the principality of Nero", one of the most mythical emperors of Ancient Rome, on which he reigned until his death in 68 AD

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