The Venice lagoon and the island of San Giorgio Maggiore in 2019.

Tiziana Fabi / Getty Images

Researchers have discovered artefacts and remains of a road from Roman times in the famous Venetian Lagoon. In Roman times, the areas of the lagoon currently submerged were accessible by land; However, it is still not clear to what extent humans occupied the region at this time.

The recent discovery, made by researchers at the Italian Institute Institute of Marine Sciences and discussed in scientific reports, was obtained by mapping the bottom of the lagoon using sonar. Researchers have discovered 12 archaeological structures in the Treporti canal, located in the lagoon. These structures were found to be aligned in a northeast direction for 1140 meters (approximately 3,740 feet) and were 2.7 meters high and 52.7 meters long.

Earlier soundings of the canal have uncovered stones similar to those the Romans used for their construction. This led researchers to believe that these stones could be aligned along a Roman road.

Based on the dimensions and resemblance to other structures in similar areas, such as the Grado and Marano lagoons, the researchers say the larger of the structures found could potentially resemble a dock. Earlier geological data indicates that a road connecting the structures was located on a sandy ridge that would have been above sea level in Roman times but is now submerged in the lagoon.

All these discoveries led the researchers to the idea that a permanent settlement could have been located in the Treporti canal. They believe the road could have been part of an even larger network of Roman landscapes in the Venice area. These routes could have been used by travelers and sailors to travel between the town of Chioggia and the northern part of the Venetian Lagoon.

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