Andrea Carandini, an expert on Roman archaeology, has announced two important discoveries in the Roman Forum. The professor, who has been studying and excavating in the Forum for more than 20 years, revealed that one excavation below the Palatine walls has uncovered a building thought to be the Palace of the Kings of Rome. Seven kings ruled the city for about 240 years, from its legendary founding by Romulus until the beginnings of the republic in 509 BC. Found beside the temple of the Vestal Virgins at a depth of 7 metres, the building, which had a monumental entrance, covers 345 sqm. Nearby, a second excavation has revealed the place where the Vestal Virgins kept their sacrificial fire, with a floor dating to the eighth century BC. Professor Carandini explained that these two finds enabled archaeologists to be more precise about the date of the founding of Rome and indicate that the legendary date 753 BC is probably correct.