The excavation, led by a team of American and Canadian archaeologists from the American Institute of Roman Culture, is bringing back to light an upper-class Roman home, or domus, from the fourth century A.D, as well as 2,000 year-old mausoleum, both located in Ostia's Parco dei Ravennati.
The site had been closed during the winter but when archaeologists visited it a few days ago, they got a nasty shock.
"When we re-opened the dig site we found that some serious damage had been done," the team of scholars told Il Messaggero.
But this was not just everyday vandalism. The number '666', the widely recognized symbol for the Antichrist, had been carved into the site numerous times and the area was littered with birds' feathers and the remains of bonfires.
In addition to the spooky remnants of occult rites the site was also full of junk.
"During the winter people had been sleeping out here and had left all sorts among the ruins," the archaeologists said.
Bottles were strewn across the ruins and the vandals had even removed some iron poles, perhaps as part of some mysterious ritual.