• Italy's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Bronze Age village found near ancient Roman city
A wall at a Bronze Age settlement unearthed near the Roman city of Aquileia. Photo: Archaeological Superintendency Friuli

Bronze Age village found near ancient Roman city

The Local · 13 Jan 2016, 16:39

Published: 13 Jan 2016 16:39 GMT+01:00

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.

Story continues below…

Based on the artefacts found at the site, experts say the settlement existed for some 300 years between 1500BC and 1200BC, during which time it is thought to have been a key trading point - much like the later Roman town on Aquileia – which followed it.

“We think that during the middle Bronze Age the villagers got together with other groups from nearby settlements on convivial occasions, when trade would take place,” Borgna said.

The discovery represents another tantalizing challenge for archaeologists in the region, who have until now only excavated a fraction of the ancient Aquileia.

Research has now moved out of the field and into the laboratories at the University of Udine, where fragments of organic matter found at the site are being analyzed to try to discover how the villagers ate.

The numerous samples of pottery are also being analyzed and accurately dated in a bid to reveal more information about the cultural exchanges which were taking place, 1,000 years before the Roman colony was founded.

For more news from Italy, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.it)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Italian team finds vaccine against western diet's ills
An Italian team have discovered a vaccine that could protect against illnesses caused by the typical western diet. Photo: Alpha/Joe Flintham/Flickr

The vaccine could reduce incidences of type 2 diabetes and heart problems commonly associated with obesity.

The Local List
12 mistakes foreigners make when moving to Italy
Photo: Alberto Fava/Flickr

When you move to Italy, you're bound to make a few mistakes before you settle into la dolce vita. Here are a few to look out for...

Higuain goes from hero to zero after big-money Juve deal
The striker moved to Juventus on Monday for €90 million.Photo: Carlo Hermann/AFP

Napoli fans are furious with their former Argentinian talisman after his big-money move to rivals Juventus.

Fiat Chrysler revises 'doctored' sales figures amid probe
Fiat Chrysler is being investigated over allegations it doctored US sales figures. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP

The company now says it did not really celebrate a streak of monthly year-over-year sales gains going back to April 2010.

Napoli's Gonzalo Higuain joins Juventus: official
Gonzalo Higuain is now a Juventus player. Photo: Nelson Almedia/AFP

Gonzalo Higuain completed his move to Juventus after the Italian champions reportedly agreed to pay a €94.7 million buyout clause to wrest the Argentine striker from Napoli on Tuesday.

Italy's government nets €759 million in air traffic sale
Italy has sold part of its air traffic service company Enav. Photo: Luigi Rosa/Flickr

The Italian government on Tuesday sold part of air traffic service company Enav on the stock exchange, netting €759 million.

After Brexit, keep a close eye on Italy's Five Star Movement
Italy's Five Star Movement (MS5) is now the country's most popular political party. Photo: Andreas Solaro/AFP

The political pulse of Italy has changed its rhythm.

'Hoax' package causes bomb scare on Milan's underground
The suspect package created chaos for rush hour travellers on the city's underground. Photo: Marco Bertorello/AFP

"It was probably left there deliberately to create panic."

Rome cracks down on splash-happy fountain dippers
Rome's fountains may seem tempting, but bathing is forbidden. Photo: TrastevereRM/Delilah Jay/Sean Mcentry

Cooling off with a midnight dip in Rome's famous Trevi Fountain may sound like a dream "Roman Holiday", but an Italian police crackdown has landed a series of splash-happy tourists with fat fines.

Panama Papers show Italian bribes' path to Algeria
A plaque outside the offices of Geneva-based law firm Mossack Fonseca. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Law firm Mossack Fonseca created companies through which the Milan oil services company Saipem SpA allegedly paid €250 million to win €9.1 billion in oil and gas deals.

Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Travel
Five crowd-free alternatives to Italy's tourist hotspots
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Italian hotspots struggling with 'too many tourists'
Culture
Meet the Italian chef behind the world's best restaurant
Travel
Escape the heat at one of these beautiful Italian lakes
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Politics
Why the UK is now officially crazier than Italy
Culture
How you can stay cool like an ancient Roman
Lifestyle
Food for thought: fight on to save Med diet from extinction
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
From asylum seeker in Italy to organic yoghurt entrepreneur
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
National
Fifteen maps that tell the story of Italy
National
Why Italy might be the next big threat to the EU's future
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Politics
Post Brexit, less than a third of Italians want to leave EU
Politics
The bright side of Brexit: the 'good news' for Brits in Italy
Culture
Eight wonderful things to do in Italy in July
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Travel
Six of the best places to visit within easy reach of Rome
British business owners in Italy feel Brexit jitters
National
How to get Italian citizenship (or at least stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Politics
Where does Britain's exit from the EU leave Italy?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Politics
Has the time come for Italy’s Five Star Movement to shine?
Society
Why Italy must change after young woman’s brutal murder
Politics
Is Italy's Five Star up to the challenge of running Rome?
Culture
Six of the most bizarre Italian foods everyone should try
2,576
jobs available