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Hadrian's villa tunnels explored by cavers

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Hadrian's villa tunnels explored as cavers drop down into hidden city

Amateur cavers map network of passages built by Roman emperor at Tivoli to keep slaves, oxen and victuals below stairs

Amateur cavers have mapped a vast network of tunnels underneath Hadrian's Villa outside Rome, leading archaeologists to radically revise their views of one of ancient Rome's most imposing imperial retreats.

Lowering themselves through light shafts found in fields around the 120-hectare (296-acre) site, local speleologists have charted more than a mile of road tunnels – passages where, in the second century, oxen pulled carts loaded with luxury foods for banquets and thousands of slaves scurried from palace to palace, well out of sight of the emperor.

"These tunnels lead us to understand that Hadrian's Villa was organised less like a villa and more like a city," said Benedetta Adembri, the director of the site, who is planning, in the autumn, to open stretches of the tunnels to the public for the first time.

Never an emperor to do things by half – his idea of homeland security was to build a wall across the top of England – Hadrian built his country hideaway near modern-day Tivoli to escape the noise and crowds of Rome, but managed to take half the city with him.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/aug/20/hadrians-villa-tunnels-cavers-tivoli

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Hadrian...I wish I travel as he. Thanks for posting.

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Hey, if you got it, you got it. That's amazing, but then it does make sense. What emperor wants to see his slaves running about?

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