Romanian archeologists have found the Capitol of Sarmizegetusa, a temple in the ancient Roman province of Dacia, Rompres news agency reported Thursday.
"We were glad to confirm the suppositions we have been nourishing for 25 years, about the place where the Capitol lies, one of the most important temples of Roman Dacia," said Ioan Piso, an official of Transylvania National History Museum in central Romania.
"This is the temple of Jupiter and the Triad Capitoline, made of Jupiter, Junona and Minerva," Rompres quoted Piso as saying.
Such temples used to be erected in every Roman city, after the model of Rome, Piso said, noting the significance of the latest discovery to the history of Romania.
The Capitol of Sarmizegetusa is unique, because the dedication of the edifice meant that the cult of Jupiter had been officially brought to the Roman province of Dacia, Piso said.
"This happened around 150 AD and the temple's dedication day, May 23 by the Julian calendar, became one of the biggest feasts in Dacia," Piso added.
Archeologists have only revealed one single section of the Capitol, but the rest of the structure is expected to be exposed in coming years, Rompres said.
Sarmizegetusa was the most important Dacian military, religious and political center. The Dacian capital reached its acme under Decebalus, the Dacian king defeated by the Roman Empire after two wars (101-102 and 105-106), led by Emperor Trajan, culminating in the Battle of Sarmizegetusa
After the defeat of the Dacians, the conquerors established a military garrison there. Later, the capital of Roman Dacia was named after the Dacian capital -- Sarmizegetusa, established 40 km from the ruined Dacian capital.