1000 years in Sicily: from Roman villa to monastery

For over 1,000 years, a farmland estate in the northeastern Sicilian village of Torrenova was in constant use, according to archaeologists from the University of Vienna. The land is believed to have hosted a Roman villa in late antiquity and a monastery throughout the Middle Ages. (photo)

The eleven-year investigation used georadar to locate structures before excavations were begun. "Using a single building complex, we've been able to make significant contributions to the reconstruction of Sicily's rural economy. Although previously there were few written sources indicating continuous use, our excavations and the analysis of the finds have now provided the archaeological evidence," says Prof. Ewald Kislinger, who heads up the two projects of the Austrian Science Fund.