A palace built by the family of Ancient Rome’s last tyrant king has been located in an ancient city south of the capital, archaeologists said last week.
The apparent opulence of the building, buried in a pile of rubble, has led experts to believe it was the home of the son of Tarquinius Superbus (Tarquin the Proud), the Etruscan seventh king of Rome whose brutal reign made Romans vow never to submit to a monarch again.
“It’s an extraordinary find,” Rome Archaeological Superintendent Angelo Bottini said at the site of ancient Gabii, 20km south of Rome.
“The way the site was demolished by furious locals in ancient times and later escaped local urban sprawl has allowed the palace to come to us virtually intact”.
Only three small rooms have so far been uncovered but archaeologists hope to find more remains of what must have been a monumental roof and ornate interiors.
Experts believe the palace was home to Sextus Tarquinius, whose rape of a king’s daughter in nearby Ardea helped spark the revolt that toppled his equally unsavoury father.
“According to Livy, the Gabians murdered Sextus after Tarquin was thrown out of Rome in 510 BC,” Bottini said.