Remnants of 200-metre Roman bridge discovered

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The remnants of what is likely to be a 200-meter Roman bridge that crossed the River Isonzo in Northern Italy have been unearthed by a specialized architectural team. The archaeologists were able to carry out the works when the summer heat dried up the river, permitting excavation works to be carried out on the Savogna bank of the river towards Udine. 

The 9m by 4.5m pillar bases of the Roman bridge that once crossed the Isonzo river [Credit: ANSA IT]

In the past few days they discovered the rectangular bases of large pillars that used to uphold a Roman bridge that spanned the Isonzo river where the Mainizza church now is. Their large size, 9 meters by 4.5 meters, are a testament to the width of the bridge.

Groups of digging teams belonging to specialized archaeological research companies ArcheoTest and Petra carried out the excavations under the scientific supervision of expert Angelina De Laurenzi of the Italian Culture Ministry.

The archaeological works were partially sponsored by roads company Autovie venete. Based on discoveries in the area dating from 1963 to 2003, the bridge, along which the via Aquileia-Emona crossed, was probably about 200 meters wide and was borne by some 11 pillars.

Further archeological research is being carried out to discover if the Roman bridge was based on natural foundations or man made ones. The ancient Aquileia-Emona road still exists today in modern form and is called the Ljubjana road, after the Slovenian capital in northwestern Slovenia.

The Isonzo river runs along both Italy and Slovenia. Many World War One battles were fought along its banks.

Source: ANSA IT [September 14, 2012]

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