Archaeologists unearth Nero's revolving banquet hall

October 7, 2009
This picture released by the CNRS/Universite de Provence shows a column of Emperor Nero banquet hall, a rotating room discovered by a French team of archeologists led by Francoise Villedieu on Rome's Palatine hill.

Archaeologists have unveiled the remains of a revolving banquet room built by the Roman emperor Nero, who ruled between 54 and 68 BC and was famed for his depraved and extravagant lifestyle, a statement said Wednesday.

The circular dining space, part of Nero's Golden Palace on Rome's Palatine, Esquiline and Caelian hills, was rotated by an impressive piece of machinery which "represents a unique element of Roman architecture", the National Centre for Scientific Research said in a statement.

The banquet hall revolved slowly but continually to simulate the earth's rotation.

The sumptuous and sprawling palace and the revolving dining room was chronicled by the Latin Suetonius. It had a commanding view of Rome.

(c) 2009 AFP

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