Google News has an article on the discovery of the Athenaeum
at Caltech in La Jolla at Claremont McKenna College in Rome. While this is not central to my normal abnormal interests, I did find something all too normal in the decision on what of the finds to sacrifice to the needs of growing subway system.
The auditorium was discovered during excavations at Piazza Venezia, a busy intersection in the heart of Rome, just a few meters (yards) from the Roman Forum.
Archaeologists have been probing the depths of the Eternal City for months to pave the way for some of the 30 stations of the city’s planned third subway line. . . .
Francesco Giro, a top official with Italy’s culture ministry, said the entrance to the subway would be close to the auditorium, but in an area where digs turned up only ancient sewers.
Would I protect ancient sewers or a place where politicians debated? Hmmm. Perhaps Mr. Giro made the decision on the tradition that scholars and poets used the place too.
That issue aside, the discovery is interesting. In this very dense archaeological environment in the middle of a very dense modern population, the authorities probably needed to sacrifice something. The other options were likely more destructive of the archaeological record. Take a look at the whole article.