Alternate names: Lapis Niger, Sepulchrum Romuli
An area in the old Comitium paved with black marble and protected by a metal balustrade built in the time of the Sullan repaving of the Forum plaza. Beneath the pavement, Boni's excavations in the early twentieth century found an archaic cult area with a u-shaped altar, a column, and a cippus with one of the earliest Latin inscriptions. The text is difficult to interpret but refers to a king (perhaps the rex sacrorum, a high religious official during the early Republic and not the pre-Republican king). Starting from the mid-Republic, Romans associated the place with the burial of an early king or member of the royal family.