Rome, January 15, AZERTAC
A 3,500-year-old settlement has been unearthed near an ancient Roman city in northeast Italy, according to The Local.
The Roman city of Aquileia, in Friuli Venezia Giulia, is one of Italy's 51 world heritage sites but the discovery of a Bronze Age village just outside the city has cast new light on the area's human history, Corriere della Sera reported.
The village was found next to an ancient Roman canal, known as the Canale Anfora, by a team of archaeologists from the University of Udine.
From 200BC until 400AD Aquileia – today home to just 3,500 inhabitants – was one of the biggest and most important market towns in Europe, with a population of some 100,000.
Much is known about the town's Roman origins, which now stretch back even further.
Archaeologists were first alerted to the possible existence of an earlier "protosettlement" after carrying out a geophysical scan in 1980, but had to wait until 2013 before excavations could get underway.
The excavations, which concluded in December, have revealed the remains of a Bronze Age village which had area of 100,000 square metres.
Among the findings were the foundations of several buildings made from gravel and stone - once the walls of Bronze Age homes.
The digs also unearthed a series of open hearths, which were used for cooking and manufacturing goods.
Numerous fragments of pottery and other household items such as rudimentary spindles we also found.
“The objects provide important information about the villagers' lifestyle and reveal much about ways in which people came together,” Elisabetta Borgna, who led the excavation, told Corriere.