An archaeological survey ahead of the installation of new water pipes in Rome has revealed the remains of three structures belonging to a funerary complex built 2,000 years ago.
Daniela Porro, head of Italy's Special Superintendence for archaeology, art and heritage in Rome, said the discovery"sheds light on a very important context."
The complex lies about half a metre below the level of the present-day street.
The tombs were erected at some point between the first century BC and AD 100 along the Via Latina, one of the earliest Roman roads.
"Once again, Rome shows important traces of the past throughout its urban fabric," Porro said in comments cited by online daily RomaToday.
The structural integrity of the complex had been compromised by construction work in the era before policies to protect the city's heritage, according to the daily, which said that one of the tombs bore marks of fire damage.
Archaeologists found an intact ceramic funerary urn containing bone fragments.
Australian Associated Press