Aerial photos taken on Monday from a police surveillance plane have revealed what is believed to be a large ancient Roman settlement near the eastern Italian city of Macerata.
Archaeologists say the site could be part of the mysterious city of Pausulae. The city is described by 1st century AD historian Pliny The Elder, and is believed to date from the late 2nd century BC.
Archaeologists from the surrounding Marche region identified from the photos a sprawling 20 hectare site criss-crossed by roads, with dwellings and buildings containing quadrangles and columns.
Thick walls enclose the settlement which is located in a river valley.
Earlier this year in nearby Cittareale in the neighbouring region of Lazio, an international team of archaeologists claimed to have unearthed the 2000-year-old birthplace of the early Roman emperor, Vespasian.
What Pliny says (3.13.11 via Lacus Curtius):
Cupra oppidum, Castellum Firmanorum et super id colonia Asculum, Piceni nobilissima intus, Novana. in ora Cluana, Potentia, Numana a Siculis condita, ab iisdem colonia Ancona, adposita promunturio Cunero in ipso flectentis se orae cubito, a Gargano CLXXXIII. intus Auximates, Beregrani, Cingulani, Cuprenses cognomine Montani, Falerienses, Pausulani, Planinenses, Ricinenses, Septempedani, Tolentinates, Traienses, Urbesalvia Pollentini.
- I Carabinieri individuano le testimonianze sepolte dell’antico abitato romano di Pausulae. | Beni Culturali