Roman Road Found in Venice... Underwater, Of Course
Updated: Jul 30, 2021
Yes, there was a time when Venice was not surrounded by water, and people could approach the city on foot.
Recently, a road and the ruins of docks were found under the Venetian lagoon, supporting the theory that the city was once accessible by foot, and not just by boat.
The discoveries were found in the Treporti channel in Venice’s outer lagoon, suggesting that the area was mostly dry land and included permanent settlements, roads, and boat docks.
According to climatologists, during Roman times about 2,000 years ago, the sea level was eight feet lower than it is today. Due to a lack of archaeological evidence on land, it’s been unclear how vast the settlement was in the region during Roman and early medieval times. Some believe it was well populated and included a number of villages while others say that few people, if any, lived along the shoreline.
But the latest analysis of sonar scans and artifacts found during archaeological dives have uncovered not only a Roman-era road but also several structural remains, including a dock, roof tiles, bricks, and pottery. Now archaeologists believe that a few different settlements were situated along a road that ran between the sea coast and an enclosed waterway.