Italian archaeologists say they have discovered the ruins of an ancient Roman official's home buried under a palazzo at the edge of the Roman forum.
The scientists say they found two statues, a series of mosaics and other decorations in what is believed to have been a third-century patrician home, probably that of a magistrate, the Italian news agency ANSA reported Tuesday.
Officials told ANSA the discovery was "the first step" in recovering the full, original lay-out of the third-century A.D. Hadrian's Forum, which was partially covered by buildings during the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
Italian Culture Minister Francesco Rutelli said he would link the ruins to the forum as part of plans to block traffic and turn the forums into the "biggest open-air museum in the world".
Copyright 2006 by United Press International