Monday, September 10, 2012

Buried Roman town mapped by researchers

An image of the theatre at Interamna Lirenas, in Southern Lazio, which emerged from the latest study. The grey background shows the magnetrometry image which revealed that a large building was on that spot. The white square is taken from a Ground Penetrating Radar survey (GPR) which showed the shape and dimensions of the building in more detail. This revealed it to be a Roman theatre, marked in yellow [Credit: University of Cambridge]

An ancient Italian town, which disappeared after its abandonment 1,500 years ago and now lies buried underground, has been mapped by researchers, revealing the location of its theatre, marketplace and other buildings.

Originally founded as a Roman colony in the 4th century BCE, the site of Interamna Lirenas lies in the Liri Valley in Southern Lazio, about 50 miles south of Rome itself. After it was abandoned around the year 500 CE, it was scavenged for building materials and, over time, its remains were completely lost from view. Today, the site is an uninterrupted stretch of farmland, with no recognisable archaeological features.

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