Sphinx Room The Secret Chamber Discovered In Nero's Palace

On May 2019, team of archaeologists have discovered a hidden vault in the ruins of Roman Emperor Nero's sprawling palace, decorated with detailed frescoes during restoration work hidden under the hills near Rome's ancient Colosseum at Emperor Nero's Domus Aurea or Golden Palace which was constructed two millennia ago. “It is unclear what this newly discovered chamber was used for, but it’s almost certainly seen some wild stories in its time,” according to IFL Science.

Source: https://www.thelocal.it/20190511/spectacular-frescos-found-in-secret-chamber-in-neros-palace

Nero, the last of the Julio Claudian dynasty, reigned from 54 AD to 68 AD. He died by his own hand at age 30. He is not considered necessarily the worst of the emperors from this family, but Nero might be the most hotly debated today. “Fiddling while Rome burns is just one of the stories that’s made Nero’s reputation as one of the most evil men in history. But the fact that he didn’t even play the violin should alert us to the fact that there’s more to him than historians have said.”

After Nero’s death, the palace was both neglected and built upon by successive rulers. The Colosseum, the site of gladiatorial battles, is thought to have been built where Nero’s artificial lake once stood.

According to a statement (translated from Italian) from the Colosseum archeological park, which includes the palace's ruins, likely dating to between A.D. 65 and A.D. 68. The archaeologists were working on a nearby area of the complex set beneath a hill next to the Colosseum in ancient Rome's historic centre when they chanced upon the chamber.

Architects and archaeologists secured the site once home to a gigantic landscaped palace and consolidated the frescoes with a view to embarking upon a further stage of excavation to reveal the room in its full splendour.

Source: https://www.thevintagenews.com/2019/06/01/hidden-chamber-nero/

Alfonsina Russo, the director of the Colosseum made a statement released to the media, he said The discovery of Nero’s hidden chamber, “was of immense artistic and archaeological value. “We hope to finish the work by the end of the year. The room is well preserved but it needs cleaning and restoration.”

The chamber, nicknamed the Sphinx Room, is richly adorned with murals of real and mythical creatures including a sphinx. Painted in rich red, green and yellow pigments that have survived the last two millennia incredibly well. With the help of artificial lighting, archaeologists uncovered a vault covered with colorful frescoes, featuring figures such as the god Pan, a centaur, a panther attacking a man with a sword.

Unfortunately, much of the room is still underground and filled with dirt, experts said they will not excavate it further for fears for the stability of the complex.


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