Construction of a new subway line in Rome has unearthed some valuable--and vexing--artifacts.





The discovery of ancient artifacts is usually cause for celebration and public excitement. But this being Rome, excavation often brings more heartache than joy. Engineers digging up 38 sites in the Italian capital for the construction of much-needed third subway line seem stymied at every turn by some piece of history or another. A $4.7 billion project set to be complete in 2015, the 15-mile subway line is designed to carry 24,000 passengers an hour, hopefully decreasing above-ground traffic congestion and reducing city-center air pollution by nearly half.

That's if, of course, it is ever completed. Each time a relic is found, work stops to study the object's historical significance. And while many of these finds might be museum-worthy, some will be reburied or even destroyed for the sake of the progress. "Navigating Rome's ruins is like a slalom course," says Rome's superintendent of archeology Angelo Bottini. "It is impossible that there will not be situations of conflict." Click here to see video of the project.

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