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Archaeologists find roman emperor birthplace
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16:57, August 13, 2009

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Archaeologists in Italy have unearthed a sprawling country villa believed to be the birthplace of Vespasian, the Roman emperor who ordered the Colosseum to be built. The 2,000-year-old ruins were found about 130 kilometers northeast of Rome.

The 14,000-square-meter complex was at the center of an ancient village called Falacrine, Vespasian's hometown.

According to lead archaeologist Coarelli, even though there are no inscriptions to attribute it for certain, the villa's location and opulence make it likely it was Vespasian's birthplace.

The 1st-century residence features a huge well-preserved floor, decorated with luxurious marbles coming from several different locations throughout the Mediterranean area, which were under Roman rule at the time.

The four-year excavation, which also turned up other ruins, including a necropolis burial ground, was carried out by a group of Italian and British archaeologists.

Born into a family of low-tier country nobility in 9 AD, Vespasian brought stability to the empire following a period of turmoil under the extravagant Emperor Nero and a civil war among his successors.

Using riches plundered from Jerusalem and proceeds from increased taxes, he launched a major public works program and started building the Colosseum - the most ambitious and best-preserved of his projects.

Source: CCTV online

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