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Ancient complex found in Crotone

Luxury building casts new light on city's past

15 April, 17:45
Ancient complex found in Crotone (ANSA) - Crotone, April 15 - A luxury complex dating back 2,000 years has emerged from a building site in Crotone, which archaeologists say could cast new light on the southern city's past.

The remains, discovered in a raised part of the city centre near the port, reveal a multi-storey building that once enjoyed a panoramic view and boasted its own thermal baths. The scale and facilities of the complex are a clear indication the Crotone was a far more sophisticated settlement in ancient times than previously realized, explained Archaeology Museum Director Domenico Marino.

A building of this nature would only have been possible if the surrounding town had extensive and fully functioning drainage, an aqueduct and a cistern, in order to transport the water required to and from the premises "This is a revolutionary discovery for Crotone," said Marino. "These remains tell us we are dealing with a large-scale Roman city, with buildings and public facilities of a certain significance. "We have made several important finds from Ancient Crotone in the past but this is the first ever discovery of such importance". Builders were first alerted to the possibility of a big archaeological breakthrough at the end of February, when they discovered some floor fragments, a silo, walls and a tank. They informed the city council, which brought in its own experts to investigate the area more thoroughly.

An initial 30-day search was extended by a further 20 days and it was only towards the end of this second period that archaeologists realized the full scale of the find. So far, they have uncovered sections of marble flooring, Pompeian-style red and black plastered walls, an interior staircase and corridors with mosaic artwork on the floor. They are not yet sure when the complex was built but believe it might have been developed over several centuries, with the oldest part dating back to the 6th century BC and more recent sections to the 1st or 2nd century BC. The building was probably a residential complex but may also have been some kind of public building, said Marino. For now, the construction project on the central city road has been put on hold while archaeologists continue their work, causing traffic hold-ups and chaos for local residents. But Crotone Mayor Peppino Vallone said the value of the discovery meant investigations would continue and, if necessary, the construction might be halted indefinitely. "According to the city's archaeology department this is an extraordinary find, one that completely changes Crotone's history," he said.

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