Engineering Rome

The Construction of Metro Stations & Shafts through Ancient Rome

The Intricacies and Complexity of a Metro through Rome’s Ancient Strata:

Brief History
The city of Rome, with a population of 2.8 million, ranks as the largest city in Italy and seventh most populated city in the European Union (Eurostat, 2011). Rome has been a prominent region in the world for almost 3,000 years with an influx of infrastructure to support it’s citizenry. Boasting a population of that magnitude one would expect to find a world-class transportation system incorporating an underground metro however data taken in 2014 shows that Rome’s annual ridership is 8.5 times smaller than the average annual ridership of the leading ten metros in the world, falling 47th in place to modern day systems. (List of Documented Metro Systems) As a city that’s had thousands of years of infrastructure built and commonly thought to be the birthplace of modern-day engineering, you would imagine a thriving metro system in the heart of Rome. However as I have come to find, it is precisely because of these two reasons that the City of Rome has had such difficulty in implementing said metro system.

Rome’s Metro

Most of Rome lies on a layer of earth 5-10-meter-thick, rich in artifacts from 2000+ years of civilization. (Heiken, 2005) The sediment comes from a culmination of both man-made and natural events in surprisingly equal occurrences. Fires, wars and consequent pillages have left the city of Rome in ruins across history (6 Infamous Sacks of Rome) and without the technology to easily move rubble, new construction was literally built upon the previous city. One excavation conducted by Einar Gjerstad identified 29 distinct layers of strata in the Roman Forum, the ruins of an ancient political center, and dated each layer by the respective artifacts found within it. (the 29th layer being virgin soil.) In the 28th layer, Gjerstad found evidence of pre-urban huts and dated the stratum to ~625BC while in the upper stratum of layers 20-22, thick layers of gravel beds (See Figure 1) were discovered which are commonly attributed to the beginnings of structured roads in 575 B.C. (Ammerman, 1990)

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Figure 1. Gravel sediment suggest the formation of 3 early roads in Gjerstad’s excavation. (Heiken, 2005)

The 28th layer of Gjerstad’s strata is measured at a depth of 6.89 masl (meters above sea level) and the 22nd at ~9 masl meaning that with Gjerstad’s archaeological time-span, an average 40 cm of sediment was deposited on an annual basis in the Forum Basin. (Ammerman, 1990) In current academia, Gjerstad’s historical span is no longer deemed accurate but his measurements persist to showcase a drastic change elevation at the time. Modern interpretations of the data Gjerstad published in 1953 suggest a major public works project to fill the land and help aid the drainage issues that the Roman Forum had from frequent inundations. Conservative measurements depict the amount of fill needed to raise this layer of the basin by two meters to be 10,0000 meters^3 of earth. (Ammerman, 1990) With the amount of earth needed, this public work most likely spanned several projects, refilling the earth over and over again as flooding persisted; this aligns with the distinctive layers found in the stratum. Another example of human deposition can be found a little more south in the Roman Forum. A 3×4 meter area exists paved in black stone by the name of Lapis Nagir; excavations have uncovered three monuments underneath, each truncated to just below the overhead street level. They are each encased in fill that’s rich with cultist items such as blades, ornate vase pieces and animal score (Halloway, 2014) and most likely carted into the Forum for the sole purpose of raising the ancient ground level, much like Gjerstad’s layers.

Although the success that brought Rome’s monuments and imperial power is at times linked to the Tiber River, its benefits did not come without certain drawbacks. Inundation was uncommon however its rare occurrence had major consequences to the city and its inhabitants. Records of flooding for the past millennia has been accurately kept and, on average, the Tiber River would raise to a height of 10-13 masl at least once a year- reaching heights of up to 16 masl every other year. (Ammerman, 1990) Inundations were disruptive enough to warrant the construction of massive embankments (built in in the nineteenth century) and you can even find hydrometers, which are used to observe flood levels, around town. Many natural and human factors have contributed to Romes ancient history being buried beneath her streets and yet we still see major structures standing today like the Pantheon, Roman Forum and many others, however an interesting characteristic that these structures share is their relative elevation to the surrounding city; most of these monuments have steps leading down to their entrances. This subtle detail hints to the majority of history that is outside of the observers view and right in the path of Rome’s Metro line construction.

Tiber Embankments.jpgScreenshot (10).pngFigure 2. Embankments with William Kentridge’s Project Figured etched onto embankments of Tiber in Rome Figure 3. Hydrometer in Rome. Flood of the Tiber River

How Did Rome’s Metro Come to Be?

According to a case study done in 2012, Rome had an urban population of 2.6 million with just a little over 1.1 million of them as employees. I’ve personally grown up in a town named Everett in Washington, USA. Everett is a city big enough to warrant recognition in the greater Seattle area and yet our modest population of 109,000 falls ~24 times as small in comparison. If you consider the inner area enclosed by the circular freeway surrounding Rome (The GRA) you can calculate a population density of 18,000 persons per square mile. (Gori, 2012) This enclosed area covers ~143 sq. mi’s but even with the massive cross-section most of the urban centers are still frequently congested with traffic, both due to the narrow roadways and their characteristic density. It does not help that out of every 1000 eligible car owners, 700 have automobile ownership (Gori, 2012) a statistic that cannot be ignored once you’ve walked around Rome for yourself.

In 2012, the city of Rome services 365 bus lines, seven rail lines and two (currently 3) metro lines. The use for each type of transportation is niched. Bus lines cover 2227 km more than tramways (The track length for trams is 36km; Gori, 2012) While it is true that bus lines can theoretically take you farther, personal experience suggests that trams are more reliable at picking you up in the first place.

As for Rome’s Metro to date there are three lines (progression as of December 2017 shown in Figure 2) and Rome’s metro has been a project for the past 75 years. Construction for the metro has been complex for every line as technology rapidly evolves and communities develop a relationship with the underground dimension. The first metro line was interrupted by a world war and built almost entirely through traditional cut-and-cover techniques. Romes second line saw the first usage of a Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) in the region, along with other traditional methods. Construction of Romes third metro line consists of surface level construction along with subsurface excavation surfacing traditionally only through necessary metro stations, ventilation shafts and emergency exists.

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Figure 4. Rome’s current metro line progression. Green- In Operation. Yellow- Near Completion. Blue- Under Construction. Red- Future Development. (Dec. 2017)(Metro C s.p.A, 2017)
It is precisely these breaks to the surface that has caused the majority of complications for metro line construction because they run directly through the millennia of construction that has been lost and buried, preserving ancient artifacts and complete heritage sites alike. Construction through these layers of history is slow and meticulous as one wrong move could cost the scientific community valuable information into the past however as time has progressed the relationship between archaeologists and engineers have allowed this problem to blossom into an opportunity.

Metro Line B

Metro Line B, the first metro line, was originally started in 1937 with the order coming from its current fascist dictator, Benito Mussolini. The drive behind this project was to connect the main train hub (Termini) to the south of Rome, with the great exposition scheduled for the 1942. Work commenced but when Italy joined the second world war in 1940, construction halted and the expo was never held. Three years after the war ended, construction continued towards a developing commercial district, Esposizione Universale Roma (EUR). The concept of rural land was soon replaced by fascist buildings leftover from the war followed by modern buildings in the 50s and 60s (Morbito). The 1960 Olympics were proposed and held in the district, only aiding in the areas popularity and finally contributing to the completion of Romes first Metro line in 1955 (See Figure 3).

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Figure 5. Metro line B (w/ extensions built 1990, 2012 & 2015) source

The technique used to construct Line B was called the Cut and Cover. The two main variants of this technique were the Bottom-up and the Top-down methods. The latter method was uncommon in Line B but was extremely vital to the continuation of Line A amidst heavily congested areas. Construction starts in the Top-Down method with utility location and piling along the project area. Excavation follows down to a partial depth and decking is constructed with access holes form the surface. The decking provides support for excavation to continue downwards until another slab is needed and this process continues until you reach your base slab. Side walls then get constructed upwards and any access paths are covered, along with backfill. This process is less arduous when excavating for a metro tunnel compared to laying the foundation of a high-rise, simply due to the difference in structural elements required however the benefits are plenty; increased project turnover, minimal project area and severe noise reduction. (Kansal, 2014) The bottom-up technique was the most cost-effective option and unfortunately the most disruptive to urban life yet it was still extremely prevalent in the construction of Line B. In the Bottom-Up technique first, the necessary depth of the tunnel is excavated and reinforced to accommodate the construction of the tunnel (See upcoming Figure 6). Then the tunnel is built from the “bottom-up with precast concrete, and backfilled to completely seal it up. With the aid of slopes on either side, equipment was easily accessible during entire construction however the project required a lot of land, consequently causing a traffic problems. One last advantage of Metro B, that aided in project completion, was that half of its rails were above ground, reducing the amount of underground work, relying on the relative simplicity of surface construction. An unfortunate truth was that archaeology did not play a factor during the excavation and later construction of Line B. At the time, workers mixed waste and artifacts alike dumping them off site (which led to confusing evidence in later excavations; Lambertuci, 2013) All in all, Romes first metro became an integral part of the citys transportation system in a relatively inexpensive and swift manner but at a high cost to archaeological discoveries.

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Figure 6. Cut & cover technique for metro line B showcased in proximity of the Roman Coliseum. (L O C V S, n.d)

Metro Line A

Romes second Metro line (Line A) began with a similar technique as Line B. The original construction was split into two contracts and separate competitions were held to decide which contractor would construct each. In 1963, after several competitions, the first contract was awarded to SACOP (Trenino, 2017) and the company immediately began at the terminal station furthest from the city center. In this area construction was made easier by excellent ground conditions which allowed excavation to begin immediately without special precautions. Unfortunately, the open cut in the ground was extremely obstructive to urban life as illustrated in the construction of the Numidio Quadrato Station. (Figures 4 & 5)

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Figures 7 & 8. Photographs taken of the Numidio Quadrato Station when the open-cut technique was initially used in line A. (Trenino, 2017)
Because of these obstructions, the city of Rome requested that work be suspended and the state administration soon after halted all work and called for another alternative method to the traditional cut and cover technique. The project was investigated from all angles and several new methods were proposed. The contract was finally rewritten for construction to begin in 1969 and innovative techniques were introduced (Trenino, 2017). The new project used a two gallery system each with a single track to be excavated by mechanized shields. The shields excavate and place prefabricated reinforced concrete lining, scheduled to begin at the Colli Albani Station. A base building yard was planned at the Albani Station to help streamline the process of construction. Due to the particularly poor ground conditions present in the Termini and San Giovanni Stations, settling of the ground occurred in various areas and open-cut excavations were done alongside present tunneling to minimize the amount of underground work. Still a 6-month delay happened (ordered directly from the State) and although the delay’s length felt excessive it gave engineers time to adapt their drilling techniques to these particularly poor ground conditions. Because of these unique conditions the work for the first contract of Line A wasn’t completed until July of 1978. Concurrently, the second contract began halfway through the first project, in 1974. (Trenino, 2017) Intermero was awarded this contract and dealt primarily with the fitting and electrification of the system while the civil engineering was subcontracted back out to SACOP (The contractor responsible for the first section.) Work was completed similarly to the first section of the line and extreme complications rarely arose, present almost exclusively around the Tiber River. The crossing of throughways running along the Tiber along with crossing on a bridge instead of digging under the Tiber, resulted in moving the station on the far side of the river over by one parallel street, from Cola di Rienzo to Giulio Cesare. At the time of these two contracts, Line A culminated to a modest 14 km and consisted of a total 23 stations. Finally, a mere 21 years after its announcement, on Feb. 16th, 1980 Rome now had two operational metro lines (portrayed in Figure 6) connecting each inter-cardinal district to the center and each other.

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Figure 9. Rome’s Metro line at the end of the twentieth century. source

Metro Stations

There were several types of stations being built, each unique with their location and ground condition (as well as their archaeological potential) The most common station consisted of two levels with the lower level having two platforms of length 120m and width 3.5m and the upper level was reserved for hall-ticket areas and common space. (Trenino, 2017) These stations were first tunneled and then enlarged to create the necessary dimensions for platforms, open cuts were used to bring the tunnels to the surface working from the street level down. Of the nine stations between Colli Albani and Anagnina, seven of them were of this type with the other two being Numidio Qudrato and Colli Albani. Numidio was designated as a transfer station for the future Line C (Which isnt being built until 40 years later) and although it did have two levels, each level was designated for the appropriate line, with ticketing halls and platforms simultaneously existing. Colli Abani was a transition station between the surface length of the track and the subterranean part. Thus Colli Albani was entirely built above ground with a 15m platform in between the two tracks. The Termini section of the branch were particularly deep stations, with a minimum depth of 17.3m and a maximum depth of 25.6m below the surface. (Trenino, 2017)

One unique station was the Re di Roma Station, albeit resulting in a similar finished product, it was built with direct excavation before the TBM’s ever passed through. This was done in order to prepare a second building yard for the pouring of concrete and prefabricated reinforced concrete lining. When the shields arrived, exactly where they were planned, they were translated across the length of the open station and soon after continued excavating at the other end. Figures 11-14 illustrate the stages of the TBM machine arriving at Re Di Roma Station.

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Figure 10. Re di Roma Station under construction. Notice the pre-structured tunnel without the aid of TBM. (Trenino, 2017)
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Figure 11-14. Progression of TBM breakthrough, connecting the walls of Re Di Roma Station to the tunnel system thus far. (Trenino, 2017)

Other Interesting Stations
Another interesting case occurs during the construction of mezzanines (platform with column supports) which was also done with an open cut. Advantageously, this left a small imprint on the urban life (compared to cut and cover techniques previously used for galleries) and in cases such as the Furio Camillo Station(Figure 12), special provisions were even made to ensure that public transportation would continue throughout construction. (Trenino, 2017)

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Figure 12. Construction of Mezzazines was not as obstructive of a project and left a smaller footprint compared to other sites. This allowed for special provisions, like in the Furio Camillo Station, to work concurrently with the existing tram-line. (Trenino, 2017)

Termini’s A-line construction was built in two steps, the first being a platform area directly beneath line B (which was in construction while Line B was still operation) and the second being a vast three-level structure excavated through an open cut near the station of line B. The first level of this structure is a waiting hall common to the two lines, the second is at the same level as the operating B lines and the third includes hallways connecting Lines A & B. (Trenino, 2017) None of the corridors connect and all serve as independent routes from one line to the other using 14 escalators. San Giovanni Station was antoher station that served as a connection between Line A & C and was significantly deeper than most other stations. Constructed in the open with sheet piling reinforcement, a reinforced concrete structure and metal bearing columns, the structure spans a 75 meters high, 27.5 meters wide and 23 meters deep. It holds four floors, the first being Line As platforms, the second interconnections, the third bearing Line Cs platforms and finally the lowest level acting as a waiting hall.

A Case Study: Baldo Degli Ubaldi Station

(Archaeological issues)
Not all construction lies in the heart of Rome but even in areas with low potential for archeological sites, other reasons for concern arise. Line A had an extension of 5 stations from Ottoviano to Battistini, one of which, the Baldo Degli Ubaldi, lies directly underneath historical buildings in the district of Aurelio. The importance of the station comes from the connection between the northwest districts to Vatican City and the center of Rome. Geological/Geotechnical surveys suggest that the Ubaldis stratigraphy consisted of sandy-silty ground (Lunardi, 2000) and the entire station is surrounded by over-consolidated silty clays which propose a significant risk for deformation during excavation and an extreme danger to these buildings. The use of traditional methods during excavation, improving ground conditions prior to the lining of steel ribs with shotcrete would not have kept deformation under a safe limit during construction. Thus, special precautions have to be taken and innovative measures incorporated.
After the excavation of access shafts with a 200m^2 cross section at either end of the station, construction was allowed to begin from the Valle Aurelia to the Aurelia Cornelia shaft. Construction was carried in two separate operations:

Initial Operation

  1. Reinforcing the advance core (main tunnel) with structural elements (47 fibre glass rods, 25m in length with a minimum overlap of 6.1m) and a shotcrete lining further strengthened with double steel ribs fitted with struts.
  2. Driving 2 side drifts 5m wide and 9m high for the side walls of the tunnel, followed by casting of the top heading for the side walls.
  3. Improving the core with a shell made with mechanical pre-cutting and followed by lining the crown in prefabricated concrete segments to create an “active-arch”. The precutting technique used incorporated a pumped concrete instead of sprayed concrete in order to achieve a particularly even and strong shell.
  4. Excavating the area between the two side drifts and shortly after, casting the invert in 7m intervals.
  5. Next is actually the construction of station infrastructure (Platform waiting areas, mezzanine’s, stairways and exits.

A Second Operation began as soon as the side drifts were driven and the walls of the station were cast. (Following step 3)

  1. Excavating the main core at a pace no more than 2.7m and placing the prefabricated shell measuring 3.5m long, 20cm thick and each weighing an average of 6.5 tons. (Daily pace was on average 0.7m – 0.9m)
  2. After placing the last pre-cut shell, sprayed concrete with additives was used to fill in the space between it and the lining arch.
  3. Initial pre-stressing (40 tons) immediately activated the lining creating a solution for the particularly bad ground conditions above. 360-ton Freyssinet jacks provided the prestressing from inside the key segments.
  4. After excavation between the drifts was completed and the invert was cast, final pre-stressing conditions were met with a pressure of 360 tons, required to fully center the stressed.

As mentioned before, careful considerations were taken to ensure that historical buildings and urban life in general was not disturbed by the construction of the metro station. Throughout the operations, accurate measurements were taken over the following criteria: the movement of buildings, subsidence of the nearby ground, changes in the water table level at both the surface and sub-surface, extrusion of the ground in both the face of the core and through convergence of the walls, along with changes in stress/pressure inside the prefabricated segments. (Lunardi, 2000) Subsidence during the advancement of the side drifts never exceeded more than 10mm on both sides. Extrusion was kept below one cm on average with cases above one cm, but still below 2cm, occurring infrequently during the entire operation. Subsidence was only ever observed in the ground 10 meters or less from the face of excavation. Movement along the foundation of buildings were at a predicted 6-7mm with an increased level of subsidence found between 25m to 40m of the Valle Aurelia shaft. Extrusion was kept minimal due to the fibre glass structural elements. As the advancement of the tunnel continued, fibre glass length shortened. Consequently, extrusion increased but was still kept under the acceptable range of under 2cm. With the innovative strategies implemented, the Baldo degli Ubaldi station is a clear example as to how drastic measures have to be around underground sites, even in stations 5km away from the historical centre.

Metro Line C

Metro line C is Romes third line reaching from the Monte Compatri district to Pantano. It stretches north of the Vatican to the south-eastern districts of Rome and construction is still underway on 40% of the line with the other 60% already in operation. (Metro C s.p.A) One of the most interesting parts about this metro is the unique relationship it has kindled between archaeologists and engineers considering the many complications that have risen. Most of the obstacles come from the routes journey through the heart of Rome and several transfer stations connecting lines B, A and C to each other along with the other stations breaking through the surface.

Line Cs construction has been similar to the previous lines. The methodology of TBMs and traditional excavations used to gut stations/shafts along the route is still present however thorough research had to be done before the construction site opened up to ensure a comprehensive understanding of the underground dimension theyre working with. Archaeological investigations of the Metro began in Piazza Roberto Malatesta in 2006 with construction beginning a year later. These investigations served as a diagnostic of each jobsite before any excavation occurred. The hopes of the engineers were to better understand soil behavior in each site and the hopes of the archaeologists were to protect and preserve ancient artifacts buried. These two interests have been predominantly independent of each other in past construction of lines B and A but efforts from key leaders of the state have rejuvenated the relationship between the two parties and allowed the construction of metro line C to be one joint effort resulting in a metro that both respects archaeological artifacts as well as respecting the projects timeline.

The Superintendance for Archaeological Heritage is a major body present in the country of Italy to intervene before (best-case scenario) the start of excavation in order to safeguard archaeological heritage with preemptive explorations. In the past, this group has had positive results, allowing the contracting party building the metro to be aware of the ground condition that theyre working with and collaborating with the decision-making parties to reroute certain lines when preventative measures could not be taken, although these reconsiderations were always a more difficult matter. Without proper legislature dictating the order of operations, a lot of this collaboration occurred through conversations and agreements between parties, with many success stories being attributed to the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage. However, in 1999 The General Law of Public Works prescribed archaeological investigations in the framework of the preliminary project This meant that for the first time in Italian law, it was mandated for some sort of inquiry to be done in the underground dimension. (Geotechnical Engineering) In the following years legislature swayed back and forth, limiting mandatory public work investigations only to areas already deemed to have cultural interest in 2002, later that mandate was overturned by the Code of Cultural Heritage in 2004, and many other renditions of the law have been created since.

The current framework existing around public work projects in Italy (2017) requires a collaboration between archaeology and geotechnical engineers, not only during surface investigations but all throughout the excavation process and in dealing with found artifacts properly. This includes incorporating findings into the layout of the station (as illustrated by the San Giovanni station) and ensuring artifacts are either stored if deemed important enough or thoroughly documented and destroyed.
San Giovanni Station (3) Modern.jpgOpening Day San Giovanni Stairwell.jpgSan Giovanni Station (2) With Musuem showcased.jpgFigures 12-14. These pictures come from the San Giovanni Station, a joint effort between archaeologists and engineers in showcasing the artifacts found when constructing the metro station in an honorable manner. (Metro C s.p.A, 2017)

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Adriano Morbito (personal photo)

Adriano Morabito
There are different reasons for the success in properly dealing with artifacts underground yet one of the most prominent has to be due to Adriano Morabito, president and founder of Roma Sotterranea. Roma Sotterranea is a non-profit group dedicated towards urban speleology, a field in modern-day cave exploration. The company specializes in exploring underground caves which encompass most of ancient Romes history; dedicating themselves to open caves, accessible most of the time from the basement of buildings, wells or sewer grates.

A contribution that Roma Sotterranea made towards Line C was mapping all the current city utility lines. In a personal interview, Adriano revealed that the city of Rome doesnt have an up-to-date mapping of all the underground lines unlike most major cities and his company was contacted to identify these lines as part of the preemptive investigations. They rarely use invasive techniques (opting for non-invasive when possible) such as taking samples of the earth in carrot-shaped cuts. These techniques give general but valuable insight towards the ensuing metro stations however you cant always prepare enough. This was not any truer than in the Piazza Celimontana construction where a 2,300-year-old aqueduct was found a little under 20 meters below the ground. The opportunity of archaeology in public works infrastructure needs to be stressed as this ancient piece of history would likely never have been found by traditional archaeological methods. Simona Morreta, head archaeologist in the area, thanked the concrete bulkheads for It was not possible to visit it 20 metres below ground… excavations do not usually go so deep. She acknowledged that it was an extraordinary opportunity for them as archaeologists and hopes to rebuild this artifact somewhere public to contrast from its previous tomb.

Even with all the recent collaboration there are still tense moments between archaeologists and engineers. When a new archaeological site is discovered, every worker realizes the importance of these artifacts and with them come difficult conversations over what constitutes an artifact as historic and what is just old trash. Adriano stresses, It is difficult to draw a precise line in identifying the gravity of these artifacts but he is thankful for the opportunity to discover them at all. His specific company only works in collaborations and every opportunity to properly document what is beneath the citys urban life is valuable. These opportunities are only scarcer in the archaeological community and money for excavation is nigh impossible, this creates an interesting dynamic between archaeologists and engineers. Adriano recalls of the excavation in the San Giovanni Station and more specifically the press conference they had about their findings. In the conference, Metro C S.c.p.A (the contracting group responsible) discussed of the artifacts found in the San Giovanni station, with ancient ruins, day-to-day tokens and the skeleton of a dog completely preserved inside a small villa. Everyone was fascinated and impressed by the documentation done of the artifacts and Adriano was interested in seeing these artifacts in person. When asked about their specific location, the contracting group said they had destroyed the artifacts six months ago. Often times conflict arises when both of these groups push their personal interest with archaeologists infrequently halting the construction of stations along heritage sites without much cooperation (this happened also in Line B & A, fairly predominantly in the interaction between archaeologists and engineers)

Ultimately, I agree with Adriano in saying archaeologists are working better with engineers. There exists a give-and-take relationship illustrated best by Danielles, a project engineer in Metro C, response to Adriano during our guided tour, We are desperate!” You could sense the sincerity in his voice and a genuine sense of concern for both the archaeological worksite as well as the infrastructure’s deadline. Working under a timeline, the Roman Metro spans much further than the tunnel boring 30 meters underground or about the route plans finished a decade and a half ago (With difficult conversations still occurring today). The metros task is really about providing needed infrastructure to meet and advance the demands of a growing city while considering the responsibility of working through Romes past all the while developing a conversation between citizens, archaeologists and engineers towards a common goal. Adriano, Danielle and citizens alike agree that the conversation is a difficult one but as long as all parties are present and participating then steps are being taken to preserve Romes past and pave the way for Romes future.


After spending part of my summer in Rome, I am taken back at the progress the city has undergone in changing their attitude towards metro construction. Engineering has come a long way from the traditional cut and cover method and is still seeing new construction techniques every year (Milan Urban Link Line; Lunardi) whereas archaeology has made strides in transitioning to be an integral part of underground construction. I have ultimately found archaeology completely necessary in every project we undertake underground for artifacts found in hypogeal spaces are unique in the story they tell, whether we’re talking about barracks found in the midst of a metro station (Figure 15) or a dog skeleton excavated during ventilation shaft excavations (Figure 16). From Metro Line B- where they mixed earth and artifacts alike- to Metro Line A- where rerouting complete lines occurred when artifacts were annnounce- all the way to Metro Line C where many parties are now coming together with one purpose, to progress Rome. The city of Rome has an ancient reputation to honor and the simplest way to respect it is by continuing forward without forgetting the past.

References (in order of appearance)

EuroStat. “Statistics on European Cities.” Statistics on European Cities,, 20 Sept. 2017,

1.copied, Albert J. “On the Origins of the Forum Romanum.” American Journal of Archaeology, vol. 94, no. 4, 1990, pp. 627–645. JSTOR, JSTOR,

Heiken, Grant, et al. The Seven Hills of Rome: A Geological Tour of the Eternal City. Princeton University Press, 2005. JSTOR,

Holloway, Ross R. “The Archaeology of Early Rome and Latium” Psychology Press, 1993.

“L O C V S.” The Site,

Gori, S., Nigro, M. & Petrelli, M. Eur. Transp. Res. Rev. (2012) 4: 153.

Squires, Nick. “Monumental Figures of Emperors and Warriors Etched onto Embankments of Tiber in Rome.” The Telegraph, Telegraph Media Group, 21 Mar. 2016,

Trenino Blu Book shared with me by an Italian local met on Twitter La Metropolitana Di Roma, I Lavori Eseguiti Dalla SACOP. An Explanation in Italian & English over Metro Line A Construction.

Lunardi, P. “The construction of large-span stations for underground railways.” (2000).

Metro C s.p.A “Construction of Stations and Shafts — Metro C.” Metro C. Metro C S.c.p.A, 25 May 2013. Web. 29 Aug. 2017. An Explanation in English over Metro Line C Construction

“Interview with Adriano Morbito in EUR District.” Personal Interview. 15 Sept. 2017

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