Oren’s Reading List: When Building a Subway in Rome…

CAF MA100 Stock RA-357.0 at Manzoni, May 2, 2008

When the first two lines of the Rome Metro were constructed in the 1950s and 1980s, there were many delays in finishing the project.  As Rome is one of the oldest cities in the world, each time an archeological discovery was made during construction, experts were called in to evaluate whether the uncovered items needed to be preserved before construction could proceed.  The Rome Metro isn’t by any means the only transit system that has faced this sort of issue.  The Jerusalem Light Rail construction was delayed several times by archeological finds.  And construction of Mexico City’s subway has turned up many archeological findings from the Aztec empire.

When Rome began planning construction on its third Metro line, it was announced that the line would be constructed deep enough to avoid possible archeological findings, and only that at stations might where connections would need to be made between the station platforms and street level might there be issues.  Well lo and behold, in constructing the Amba Aradam station, crews came across barracks dating to the second century.  The barracks cover an area of 9600 square feet and include 39 rooms, complete with mosaics and frescoes on the walls and floors.  How long do you think it will be before they unearth something else?

Rome Metro Line C is scheduled to open in 2020.  You can see photos of the barracks and other findings at the Amba Aradam station site by clicking here.

Oren’s Reading List is an occasional feature on The Travelogue in which I share articles that I’ve read that might also be of interest to the readers of this website.