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Hidden “Sphinx Room” discovered in Nero’s palace

Rome nero-palace

Archaeologists attempting to restore Emperor Nero’s palace in Rome have accidentally discovered a secret underground room decorated with colourful animal frescoes.

The walls of the chamber in the bowels of Domus Aurea – the Golden House – was found adorned with depictions of panthers, centaurs and a sphinx.

Experts stumbled upon the space quite by chance while mounting scaffolding late last year, according to Italian news agency ANSA.

Alfonsina Russo, the head of the Colosseum archaeological park in which the Golden House resides, said it was “an exceptional and thrilling find”.

He said the restoration team had decided to call the chamber the “Sphinx Room” after one of the most striking frescoes, although the walls also feature aquatic creatures, exotic birds and the god Pan.

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Egyptian Fort from the time of Psamtik

Fort of Psamtik I

Egyptian Fort from the time of Psamtik I discovered:

CAIRO, EGYPT—According to a Xinhua report, traces of a military castle dating to between 664 and 610 B.C. have been uncovered in Egypt’s North Sinai province. Mostafa Waziri, secretary-general of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, said the mud-brick structure, built during the reign of Psamtik I, had 16 towers. It measured some 278 feet long by 36 feet wide, and had been constructed on top of another, unfinished castle. The excavation team, led by Hesham Hussein, has also found living quarters for the soldiers who were stationed there. Hussein said the castle acted as the main gate at ancient Egypt’s eastern border. Most of its buildings had been destroyed by attackers. To read in-depth about another discovery in northern Egypt, go to “The Rulers of Foreign Lands.”