'Little Pompeii' found 70 km northeast of Venice

The largest, best-preserved ancient Roman funerary complex found in Italy since the 19th century has been discovered at an archeological dig 70 km northeast of Venice, researchers announced Friday.

'Little Pompeii' found 70 km northeast of Venice
The 3rd-century funerary complex preserved by
natural disaster [Credit: ANSA]
An imposing monument from the third century AD was located outside the ancient walls of what was once the Roman colony of Iulia Concordia, now in the town of Concordia Sagittaria.

The site was likened to a "little, flood-plain Pompeii" in a guided tour at the restoration site in Gruaro, Veneto. Just as Pompeii was buried by the volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, a natural disaster wiped out and preserved sarcophagi in Iulia Concordia.

Floods swept detritus and sediment across the area in the fifth century AD, rendering the ancient structures inaccessible and invisible for 1500 years.

The complex includes a podium nearly two metres tall and six metres long with the remains of two elegant sarcophagi on top, two others nearby, and the base of a third.

The remains of a necropolis from the the late first century B.C. was also found.

The excavation is financed by the Region of Veneto with European Union funds under the direction of the Veneto Superintendency for Archeological Heritage. (ANSAmed).

Source: ANSA [February 21, 2014]

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