Archaeologists Discovered A Villa That May Have Once Belonged To The First Emperor Of Rome

SeanPavonePhoto - - illustrative purposes only

The death site of Augustus, the first emperor of Rome, has long been a mystery. But recently, archaeologists carrying out excavations in southern Italy have discovered a villa that may have belonged to Augustus.

Researchers from the University of Tokyo have been exploring Somma Vesuviana, an archaeological site north of Mount Vesuvius, since 2002. There, they have unearthed part of a building that Augustus might have used.

Augustus was born Gaius Octavius Thurinus. He ruled from 27 B.C.E. until his death in A.D. 14 at the age of 75. Although he did not actually use the title of “emperor,” he was a significant figure in Roman history and helped to double the size of the Roman Empire.

Historical records state that Augustus died in a villa north of Mount Vesuvius, the volcano that destroyed the ancient city of Pompeii in A.D. 79. The villa acted as a memorial site for him. However, the building’s location has never been verified.

In the 1930s, researchers unburied the remains of a Roman villa in Somma Vesuviana, thinking that it had belonged to Augustus.

However, archaeologists involved in ongoing excavation projects at the site since 2002 confirmed that the ruins only dated back to the second century A.D., which was after the volcano erupted.

In 2023, the Japanese researchers found an older building underneath the second-century structure. They believe the earlier building is the site where Augustus died.

An analysis of the volcano pumice covering the older building revealed that it was still in use during the first half of the first century A.D. Then, it was buried by the eruption of Vesuvius in A.D. 79.

In the older villa, the archaeologists identified four rooms, each with unique features that indicated it was the residence of someone with high status. One of the rooms contained 16 tall, ancient jars that were used for storing wine.

SeanPavonePhoto – – illustrative purposes only

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