New archaeological discoveries in Selinunte, Sicily

Temple M from above. Image: Il Messagero

ROME - Geologists at the University of Camerino have announced a new discovery in Selinunte Archaeological Park, a site containing the remains of an ancient Greek city in southwestern Sicily.

 Using a drone with a high sensitivity thermal camera the team from the University detected a series of buried structures, dating from around 2,700 years ago, surrounding the so-called "Temple M" site.

 Fabio Pallotta, consultant geo-archaeologist at the University, suggested that the buildings were most likely "a succession of temples and pools full of clear spring water... to provide refreshments for travellers." Pallotta further explained that while the site now sits on the right bank of the River Selino, originally it would have stood "in all its beauty... on the edge of a lovely lagoon."

 The city of Selinus was founded in the seventh century BC, with its large temples constructed in the following two centuries. The town was destroyed in 409 BC by an attack and its ruins racked by earthquakes throughout the Middle Ages, only being rediscovered in the sixteenth century. However, the lack of development in the following centuries has made it an archaeological haven ever since British scholars began to excavate it in the nineteenth century.