The remains of a (once-brightly painted) frieze fragment, now housed in the Palatine Museum along with other remnants of the once-opulent palaces that graced the hill. Most people associate Classical art as being austere based on the current condition of the gleaming white marble sculpture and fragmentary remains of the buildings, but in reality, they were usually brightly painted, as seen in the remains here. Some slight remnants of paint often still adheres to many of the statues, but it's often not seen.
This area is one of the most ancient parts of the city, perhaps where it was first founded. The hill now stands about 120 feet above the Roman Forum and the Circus Maximus. According to legend, it was the location of the cave, or Luprecal, where Romulus and Remus lived with the she-wolf who rescued them. Science suggests that people have lived here since about 1000 BC, and according to the Roman historian (sort of) Livy, the Romans lived here after the immigration (!) of the Sabines and the Albans to Rome. Because of its prominence and renown, affluent Romans in all periods lived here. This fragment is from a frieze which was found in one of the sumptuous imperial palaces once found here. Many prominent Romans of the Republican periods had homes here, but during the Empire it was taken over primarily by the emperors: Augustus, Tiberius and Domitian had palaces here, as did Augustus's wife, Livia, but other structures included a temple to Apollo and another to Cybele. The Flavian Palace was probably the most elaborate, as it was extended and modified by various figures well into the third century AD. The hill was also the site of the festival of the Lupercalia. The small museum now found on the site features a good collection of artifacts found here and in the surrounding area, and is definitely worth a visit. A ticket to the Colosseum also allows access to the archaeological area on top of the Palatine.