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Google Earth Spots Remains Buried In Rome

An Italian man using Google Earth spotted the signs of a buried Roman villa near his home, the science journal Nature reported Wednesday.
An Italian man using Google Earth spotted the signs of a buried Roman villa near his home, the science journal Nature reported Wednesday.

Luca Mori, 47, from Sorbelo, noticed unusual shadings in the satellite photographs used by Google Earth when he was viewing the area around his own home. "At first I thought it was a stain on the photograph but when I zoomed in I saw that there was something under the earth," Mori told Nature.

Archaeologists who Mori contacted surmised that the rectangular shape showing near an ancient river bed was of human origin. Officials from the National Archaeological Museum of Parma then visited the site, which is now farmland, and after finding traces of ceramic and stone, confirmed that it's a villa from the reign of Caesar Augustus.

Google Earth is a free-of-charge stand-alone program which combines local search with satellite images. It debuted in beta form in late June.