Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Anti-Pirate Roman Military Fort Oldest Ever Discovered

""Researchers at a site near Italy's northeastern border with Slovenia have discovered the hidden remains of the oldest known fort from ancient Rome. The site, which is in San Rocco, in the Trieste province, is the only Roman fortress discovered in Italy, and it may have been built to defend against people from the north, whom the Romans called "pirates."

The findings are described in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and the researchers believe the fort could explain the Roman army's rise in power. The team believes the hilltop fort, which spans 32 acres, was built in 178 B.C.E., which dates it back several decades further than previously discovered Roman forts. They made the impressive find using Light Detection and Ranging (Lidar) scanners from a helicopter over the area, as well as ground radar techniques.

Researchers believe the "pirates" in question were the Histri, who controlled the Istrian peninsula, Ancient Origins explains. The site includes a main camp and two smaller camps, and the researchers believe the camps were used until the foundation of Tergeste, which would eventually become the modern Trieste.
Now that the radar has located the site, scientists are planning a full-scale archaeological excavation at the fort. The fort could provide important clues about the Roman Republic's military as well as Trieste's founding."" Meghan DeMaria

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