Sensational find on Google Earth makes historians rejoice

Veni, vidi, vici - well, that's about it for the author's knowledge of Latin.

Veni, vidi, vici – well, that’s about it for the author’s knowledge of Latin.

Well, why did we immortalize Marius Titus from the Xbox battle spectacle Ryse: Son of Rome on the article cover? For two reasons: First, because this article is about a sensational find from Roman antiquity, and second, because we absolutely couldn’t find a fancy portrait photo of a handsome Roman from Rome 2: Total War.

Google Earth becomes a scientific tool

If you think of numerous brushes, hammers and chisels or thick, dusty tomes when you think of an archaeologist’s work tools, you are probably not entirely wrong. However, a find is currently making the rounds in expert circles that was tracked down with a freely available tool: Google Earth!

Using the popular online mapping service, archaeologists from the University of Oxford have discovered the remains of not one, not two, but three Roman encampments in northern Arabia.

What’s so spectacular about that? According to an article published in the journal Antiquity, this find could be evidence of a previously unrecorded Roman campaign to Saudi Arabia.

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If you want to see the Roman remains for yourself, we’ve found the correct Maps data for you. Alternatively, just look at this picture:

Well, do you recognize the outlines of the former camps?

Well, do you recognize the outlines of the former camps?

More precise chronological classification

According to an interview with research leader Dr. Michael Fradley found this campaign probably around the year 106 AD took place when the Romans took over the empire of the Nabataeans. According to Fradley, this is also supported by the arrangement of the camps, which were laid out according to the Roman model:

We’re fairly certain they were built by the Roman army, given the complex’s typical playing card shape, with opposite entrances on each side. The only notable difference between them is that the westernmost camp is significantly larger than the two camps to the east.

But the scientists’ work is far from over. Because this find opens up new questions that need to be answered. Professor Andrew Wilson, the co-author of the article linked above, explains:

Are you now gripped by history fever? If so, you don’t even have to leave to continue your education:

So you see, there is still a lot of knowledge that resourceful people are just waiting to be found. What do you think of such archaeological discoveries? Do you also have a soft spot for world history and could lose yourself for hours in historical subjects or are you more anchored in the here and now? Let us know your thoughts on the topic in the comments!

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