The Palatine Hill is the centremost of the Seven Hills of Rome and is one of the most ancient parts of the city. It stands 40 metres above the Roman Forum, looking down upon it on one side, from the time of Augustus Imperial palaces were built here and hence it became the etymological origin of the word palace and its cognates in other languages. According to Livy the Palatine hill got its name from the Arcadian settlement of Pallantium, more likely, it is derived from the noun palātum palate, Ennius uses it once for the heaven, and it may be connected with the Etruscan word for sky, falad. The term palace itself stems from Palatium, according to Roman mythology, the Palatine Hill was the location of the cave, known as the Lupercal, where Romulus and Remus were found by the she-wolf Lupa that kept them alive. Another legend occuring on the Palatine is Hercules defeat of Cacus after the monster had stolen some cattle. Hercules struck Cacus with his characteristic club so hard that it formed a cleft on the southeast corner of the hill, Rome has its origins on the Palatine. Excavations show that people have lived in the area since the 10th century BC, according to Livy, after the immigration of the Sabines and the Albans to Rome, the original Romans lived on the Palatine. The Palatine Hill was also the site of the ancient festival of the Lupercalia, many affluent Romans of the Republican period had their residences there. Augustus also built a temple to Apollo here, the Palace of Domitian which dominates the site and looks out over the Circus Maximus was rebuilt largely during the reign of Domitian over earlier buildings of Nero. Later emperors particularly the Severans made significant additions to the buildings, the House of Livia, the wife of Augustus, is conventially attributed to her based only on the generic name on a clay pipe and circumstantial factors such as proximity to the House of Augustus. The building is located near the Temple of Magna Mater at the end of the hill. It is notable for its beautiful frescoes, the House of Tiberius is located next to the Temple of Cybele, on the platform built by Nero and in the current Farnese Gardens. During Augustus reign, an area of the Palatine Hill was roped off for a sort of archaeological expedition and he declared this site the original town of Rome. Modern archaeology has identified evidence of Bronze Age settlement in the area which predates Romes founding, there is a museum on the Palatine in which artifacts dating from before the official foundation of the City are displayed. The museum also contains Roman statuary, an altar to an unknown deity, once thought to be Aius Locutius, was discovered here in 1820. In July 2006, archaeologists announced the discovery of the Palatine House, head archaeologist Clementina Panella uncovered a section of corridor and other fragments under Romes Palatine Hill, which she described on July 20 as a very ancient aristocratic house. On the ground floor, three shops opened onto the Via Sacra, the location of the domus is important because of its potential proximity to the Curiae Veteres, the earliest shrine of the curies of Rome. In January 2007, Italian archeologist Irene Iacopi announced that she had found the legendary Lupercal cave beneath the remains of Augustus residence
Plan of the Palatine
Palaces on the Palatine
Palatine Hill from Colosseum
Massive retaining walls extended the area on the Palatine available for the Imperial building complex.