Archaeologists in Rome are to embark on a quest for a 2,500-year-old stone sarcophagus linked to the legend of the city’s fabled founder – Romulus.
They believe it lies hidden in a chamber deep beneath the Forum, once the heart of ancient Rome and now an area of ruined temples and imperial palaces that attracts millions of tourists a year.
The stone casket is believed to date from the 4th century BC, when it was placed inside a chamber in a mystical, sacred area of the Forum that celebrated the founding of Rome.
Archeologists believe it lies around 10ft underground, buried out of sight beneath a building known as the Comitium – a precursor to the Roman Senate.
Romulus is said to have founded Rome in the 8th century BC after murdering his brother, Remus.
According to legend, the twins were ordered to be thrown into the Tiber in a basket by a vengeful king.
Instead, his servants left them on the riverbank, where they were found and suckled by a she-wolf, which remains the symbol of the city.