Archaeologists have discovered an ancient cenotaph that almost certainly commemorated the legendary founder of Rome, Romulus, buried in the heart of the Italian capital.

A small chamber containing a simple sarcophagus and round stone block was found at the start of the last century beneath the Capitoline Hill inside the old Roman Forum. The significance of the find has only just become clear following fresh excavations and new research.

Alfonsina Russo, the head of the Colosseum Archaeological Park, said the site probably dates to the sixth century B.C. and is located in the most ancient part of the city, which was directly linked in historical texts to Rome's first king.