Home Geospatial Applications Miscellaneous Internet maps reveal Roman villa

Internet maps reveal Roman villa

Technology proved an unexpected aid to unearthing the past when an Italian man decided to look at internet maps of his home. Computer programmer Luca Mori found the remains of an ancient Roman villa when he browsed Google Earth maps showing satellite images of his local area. His curiosity was sparked by unusual shading by his home in Sorbolo, Parma. He contacted local archaeologists who investigated and confirmed it was once the location of a Roman villa. At first he thought it was a stain on the photograph. When he zoomed in, he saw that there was something under the earth. The satellite images threw up a dark oval shape more than 500m (1,640ft) long, as well as shaded rectangular shapes nearby. Mr Mori decided to alert experts from the National Archaeological Museum in Parma about his find. After excavating some ceramic pieces from the site – now farmland – they confirmed a Roman villa once stood there built some time just before the birth of Christ.