Page last updated at 13:01 GMT, Friday, 31 July 2009 14:01 UK

Images reveal 'lost' Roman city

Advertisement

Using the aerial photos, the researchers created an animated flyover of the ancient city

Aerial photographs have revealed the streetplan of a lost Roman city called Altinum, which some scholars regard as a forerunner of Venice.

The images reveal the remains of city walls, the street network, dwellings, theatres and other structures.

They also show a complex network of rivers and canals, revealing how the people mastered the marshy environment in what is now the lagoon of Venice.

Details of the research have been published in the journal Science.

Andrea Ninfo and colleagues from Padua University, Italy, made the first detailed reconstruction of the city's topography and environmental setting.

This was assembled using visible and near-infrared aerial photographs of the farmlands that currently cover the region, along with a computer model of the local terrain.

The photos were taken during a severe drought in 2007, which made it possible to pick up the presence of stones, bricks and other solid structures beneath the surface.

The authors note that Altinum is the only large Roman city in northern Italy - and one of the few in Europe - that has not been buried by medieval and modern cities.

The results show that the city was surrounded by rivers and canals, including a large canal that cut through the centre of Altinum, connecting it to the lagoon.

Two gates or bridges were built into the walls encircling the city, providing further evidence of how the city's residents adapted to their marshy surroundings.

The researchers were also able to see harbour structures at the edge of the lagoon.



Print Sponsor


RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific