Fondi (Latina), major archaeological discovery: portion of Roman amphitheater resurfaces

Important archaeological discovery in Fondi (provinci di Latina) where a portion of the city's ancient Roman amphitheater has resurfaced.

Important archaeological discovery in Fondi (province of Latina), where a well-preserved portion of the city’s ancient Roman amphitheater has emerged from an excavation in Via Mola della Corte that began last Feb. 2. The presence of an amphitheater in Fondi was attested by ancient and modern written sources, yet until now there had never been evidence such as that which emerged last week. In 2008 the foundations had been identified and some individual cubilia (i.e., sections of the reticulated work) had emerged isolated, however, from the structure, and the exact location of the amphitheater was not yet known: in fact, there was a risk that the structure had been completely destroyed.

The excavation work, conducted by the Superintendence of Latina and Frosinone and coordinated by archaeologist Francesco Di Mario on land that the Municipality of Fondi took over from a private citizen, was carried out precisely with the aim of finding a match for the theories. The artifact that was found was a portion of theouter ring of the amphitheater. The fact that a wall of the elevation was found, in perfect condition, to such an extent that the cubilia are recognizable with the naked eye, bodes well for the condition of the remaining parts still buried.

“The presence of this perfectly preserved fragment,” explains archaeologist Alfredo Moraci, author of the discovery, “attests, further, to the importance of Fondi in ancient Rome: in fact, only large cities had an amphitheater. A structure, the latter, among the most relevant in antiquity from a dimensional point of view, designed to accommodate thousands of people who flocked to watch gladiator games and venationes, that is, hunts for wild animals. Continued excavation, is what we hope, could bring to light another part of the elliptical perimeter, defining the size and thus the importance of the ancient structure.”

“Today is a great day,” says Town Planning Councillor Claudio Spagnardi, “we worked in perfect harmony with the experts of the Superintendence in the hope that the structure would be preserved but, most importantly, would be located exactly on the land ceded to the municipality. What was only a hypothesis today has become reality. Now we know where the structure ends and, in the future, we will try to figure out where it begins. So we will continue along the path we have taken and move forward with this ambitious project that promises to give the city another priceless historic site.”

“It is an honor for me,” comments Mayor Beniamino Maschietto, “to administer a city with a millennial history whose riches continue to resurface inside and outside the ancient city walls. It is certainly a historic day, and I can only thank the Superintendency for the splendid work done in synergy with the municipal offices.”

“Starting today,” concludes Culture and Tourism Councillor Vincenzo Carnevale, “we will write a new chapter in the city’s history. The hope, of course, is that the artifact found will not be the only one so that one day we will be able to transform a site of great archaeological historical value into a tourist attraction.”

Fondi (Latina), major archaeological discovery: portion of Roman amphitheater resurfaces
Fondi (Latina), major archaeological discovery: portion of Roman amphitheater resurfaces

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