Ancient Roman City Lost, Now Found





The lost Roman city of Altinum has been found in Italy. Sophisticated aerial images released this week reveal fascinating new details about Venice's predecessor, which was abandoned by its citizens and then sank into the lagoon.

After a long search, the ancient city of Altinum -- considered to be the predecessor of Venice -- has been discovered. In a report published this week in Science, archaeologists at the University of Padua also report that the most popular of Venetian tourist attractions, the Grand Canal, was flowing through the Roman trade town as long as 1,500 years ago.

Altinum plays a major role in Venice's history -- it was one of the richest Roman settlements but inhabitants fled before the advance of the armies of Attila the Hun. Then as water levels rose, the abandoned city sank into the lagoon. Its walls remain covered by fields today. And this is why the ancient city has remained undiscovered for such a long time.

On a modern map, Altinum is situated seven kilometers north of Venice, near the Marco Polo airport. It is the only large Roman city in northern Italy and one of the few in Europe that was not buried beneath medieval or modern towns...

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