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Two Roman villas unearthed at Luni archaeological site in Liguria, northern Italy


Two Roman villas (domus) built in the first century BC came to light in the Luni archaeological site during an excavation campaign directed by Simonetta Menchelli, professor of ancient topography and underwater archaeology at the University of Pisa.

Two Roman villas unearthed at Luni archaeological site in Liguria, northern Italy
Credit: Universita di Pisa
The research is part of the "Luni Project, the city of the Moon", which aims to reconstruct the urban and territorial landscapes of the city, founded as a Roman colony in 177 BC and still active, from a strategic and economic point of view, until the early Middle Ages.

Two Roman villas unearthed at Luni archaeological site in Liguria, northern Italy
Credit: Universita di Pisa
"The southern domus had frescoed walls, as evidenced by numerous fragments of red plaster and some areas which were paved with mosaics with geometrical shapes and grape vines," explains Simonetta Menchelli. "The northern one underwent extensive renovations in the fourth and fifth centuries, with the construction of a large tank indicating that the house was equipped with a fullon - a mill for the processing and washing of fabrics."

Two Roman villas unearthed at Luni archaeological site in Liguria, northern Italy
Credit: Universita di Pisa
"Both buildings", continues the professor, "were the focus of extensive trade and received goods imported from the Mediterranean such as pottery and wine, oil and fish sauces from various Italian regions, Gaul, the Iberian Peninsula, North Africa, Asia Minor, Syria and Syria. They were abandoned between the 7th and the beginning of the 8th century AD."

Two Roman villas unearthed at Luni archaeological site in Liguria, northern Italy
Credit: Universita di Pisa
The University of Pisa has been carrying out excavations and research in Luni, in the Porta Marina district near the ancient port, since 2014. The activities, coordinated in the field by Dr. Paolo Sangriso, last three weeks a year and are attended by over twenty students from the University of Pisa and twenty-four students from the Istituto Parentucelli Arzela di Sarzana and the Liceo Costa di La Spezia.

The interdisciplinary and innovative character of the project is assured by the participation of Professor Adriano Ribolini of the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Pisa for geomorphological aspects and a georadar investigation programme, by Professor Vincenzo Palleschi of the CNR Pisa for remote sensing also through drone and 3D restitution of buildings, and by Dr. Claudio Capelli of the University of Genoa for archeometric analysis of finds.

Source: Universita di Pisa [November 04, 2017]
TANN

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