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A brand new section of the Museum of the Walls might been open in Rome, following the few days ago discovery of no less than 80 meters Aurelian Walls (3rd cent. AD) in St. John Lateran’s Archbasilica area.
The event was totally unexpected as scholars assumed this section of the Walls was lost as a consequence of the radical rearrangements which took place in the area in the middle of the 18th century to renovate St. John Lateran’s facade: the Walls were supposedly torn down or collapsed on that occasion – an idea reinforced by the lack of references in the scientific literature.
The extent of the discovery is invaluable: eleven arches, two towers, even traces of medieval painting (as those walls served as shelters to hermits during the Middle Age), plus a complex hydraulic system of the modern era (from the 17th century) and slits for archers with visible amendments after the invention of gunpowder.
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