Portugal

Roman Villa of Ammaia

The ruins of this once vibrant Roman city have been raided for centuries, but it wasn’t actually identified until the 20th century.

Roman Villa of Ammaia Lost and Found

Founded in the 1st century, Ammaia was a once thriving waypoint on the Roman east-west trade route. Spanning 25 hectares, and with a population of several thousand 5000-6000, the town flourished until the collapse of the Roman Empire in the 5th century. In the centuries since its fall, the city was raided for its relics and resources, with statues being sold to England as late as the 19th century. However, it wasn’t until 1935 that the town was actually identified, and excavations didn’t begin until 1994. In the past two decades, a mere 3,000 square meters has been uncovered, and even this has revealed a successful city, complete with running water, a forum, baths, and monumental gates. Today visitors can explore the grounds and visit the on-site museum for a closer look at the most interesting archaeological finds.

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