In a notable announcement issued by the Italian Ministry of Culture (MIC), a team of archaeologists has unveiled a remarkable discovery—a Roman temple—in the historic Italian town of Sarsina. This town, once inhabited by the Umbri, an Italic people who fell under Roman rule during the 3rd century BC, has yielded a new piece of its rich history.
Following the integration of Umbri territories into the Roman domain, Sarsina emerged as a prominent hub within a pastoral region. It also boasts the distinction of being the birthplace of Plautus, a renowned Roman playwright whose comedies stand as some of the earliest complete literary works in the Latin language.
Today, the town stands as a repository of numerous remnants from the Roman era, including public baths, fragments of other temples, town fortifications, and defensive structures. Archaeological explorations in recent times have led to the unearthing of various artifacts like amphorae, ceramics, pillars, and bronze items.
Recent excavations have brought to light the remains of an expansive quadrangular temple, provisionally dated to the 1st century BC. Among the surviving archaeological elements are distinctive rows of sandstone blocks, meticulously aligned to form a podium, along with the sandstone flooring adjoining the forum.
Scholars posit that this architectural marvel likely constitutes a capitolium—a temple devoted to the revered Capitoline Triad of deities: Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva. Throughout the Augustan and Julio-Claudian epochs, capitolium temples were typically erected in locations of immense significance within the early Roman Empire, such as Rome itself, Pompeii, Ostia Antica, Brescia, and Cosa.
Minister of Culture Gennaro Sangiuliano lauded this breakthrough, stating, “This discovery stands as a pivotal archaeological treasure, offering invaluable insights into the historical evolution of a specific geographic zone. It represents a substantial contribution to our comprehension of the past, holding significant implications for both historical and archaeological research.”