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Archaeologists explore submerged structures off the Le Cesine coastline



A new research project led by the University of Salento is conducting an underwater and surface study of the Le Cesine coastline to explore submerged structures first identified in 2020.

Le Cesine is a 6 km nature reserve located in Italy between San Cataldo and San Foca. Previous studies using drones, ROVs, and a photogrammetric survey, revealed evidence of a submerged port and structures in the locality of Posto San Giovanni.

Archaeologists discovered the foundation of a pier measuring approximately 90 metres in length, situated 15 metres from the shoreline that followed an ancient bank at a depth of 3.5 metres.

The pier was built with large juxtaposed blocks, and possible bollards made from parallelepiped blocks with a cylinder-shaped side placed at rather regular intervals, but has since collapsed due to the disruptive force of wave motion.

Image Credit : University of Salento

According to the researchers: “This structure is similar to the submerged part of the large Hadrianic pier north of the wide bay of San Cataldo, to which it is also similar due to its impressive development and building technique, but it could also be older than that.”

On the same alignment further away from the shore are another cluster of blocks arranged in parallel and perpendicular lines.

The current project is conducting a detailed study to determine whether the two structures are associated, and further study a so-called “submerged church” which may actually be the remains of a lighthouse tower.

On the shoreline are also structures that the researchers are documenting, including a series of rock-cut storage pits, and further evidence of a building that preliminary dating suggests may be from the Roman Republican era.

In a press release published by the University of Salento: “The set of evidence at sea and on land, with the holistic approach of landscape archaeology, suggests precisely the existence of an important port complex.”


University of Salento

Header Image Credit : University of Salento

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Archaeologists discover traces of Roman circus at Iruña-Veleia




Archaeologists from ARKIKUS have announced the discovery of a Roman circus at Iruña-Veleia, a former Roman town in Hispania, now located in the province of Álava, Basque Autonomous Community, Spain.

The town was an important transit centre on the Ab Asturica Burdigalam (Roman road), with a peak population of around 10,000 inhabitants.

In a recent study using aerial photography and light detection and ranging (LiDAR), archaeologists have found a Roman circus and previously unknown urban areas of Iruña-Veleia.

A Roman circus was a large open-air venue used mainly for chariot races, although sometimes serving other purposes. Chariot racing was the most popular of many subsidised public entertainments, and was an essential component in several religious festivals.

Image Credit : Shutterstock

Chariot racing declined in significance in the Western Roman Empire following the fall of Rome, with the last known race held at the Circus Maximus in AD 549, organised by the Ostrogothic king, Totila.

According to a press statement by ARKIKUS, the circus is an elongated enclosure that accommodated up to 5,000 spectators, and measures 280 metres long by 72 metres wide.

Until now, only a handful of Roman circus’s are known in the northern half of the Iberian Peninsula, emphasising the importance of Iruña-Veleia during the Roman period.

The study also revealed a Roman street system, evidence of buildings with porticoed areas, and a linear feature indicating the route of the Ab Asturica Burdigalam.

Header Image Credit : ARKIKUS

Sources : ARKIKUS

This content was originally published on – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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Archaeologists make new discoveries at Bodbury Ring hillfort




Bodbury Ring is a univallate hillfort, strategically located at the southern tip of Bodbury Hill in Shropshire, England.

Hillforts in Britain are known from the Bronze Age, but the main period of hillfort construction occurred during the Celtic Iron Age.

Hillfort fortifications follow the contours of a hill and consist of one or more lines of earthworks or stone ramparts, with stockades or defensive walls, and external ditches.

Archaeologists from Time Team and the Universities of Chester and York, recently conducted a study of Bodbury Ring using light detection and ranging (LiDAR).

Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) is a remote sensing technique that employs pulsed laser light to measure distances to the Earth. By analysing variations in the return times and wavelengths of the laser pulses, this method can generate a detailed 3-D digital map of the landscape.

The study has revealed that Bodbury Ring is six times larger than previously thought and is part of a much larger hillfort which enclosed the entirety of the ridgetop on Bodbury Hill. This larger hillfort shares some characteristics with examples known to have originated in the Late Bronze Age.

Professor Ainsworth from Time Team said: “The earthworks of Bodbury Ring, it seems, were constructed to form a small, more easily defended fort at the southern tip of the original hillfort, possibly in the Middle Iron Age.”

“This prehistoric ‘downsizing’ may have resulted from increased tension in the region, reflecting possible changes in the geopolitical landscape of the times. Close by, on the northern side of Bodbury Hill, the remains of a probable Roman Iron Age enclosed settlement have also been identified for the first time,” added Professor Ainsworth.

Header Image Credit : University of Chester

Sources : University of Chester

This content was originally published on – © 2023 – HeritageDaily

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