Roman-Era Tomb, Theater Found on Greek Island

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The Fiscardo site was uncovered during construction in the nearby village. Further excavations are planned to learn more about the new site and to accurately date it.

Ancient Trade

Previous excavations in the area have uncovered remains of houses, a bath complex, and a cemetery, all dating to Roman times—between 146 B.C. and A.D. 330.

But the new find may push back the time Romans were known to have settled on the Ionian islands.

"There are [other] bits of evidence of Romans in the islands in the Ionian Sea," said William V. Harris, a professor of ancient history at New York's Columbia University.

"We know that there were Roman fleets there already in the 220s B.C., so that wouldn't be particularly surprising." (Related: "Giant Roman Shipwreck Yields 'Fishy' Treasure [November 20, 2006].)

"Roman settlers, though, you would only get in the first century B.C. and perhaps a bit in the second as well."

According to Harris, though, the first substantial contact ancient Romans had with Greeks in Greece itself was probably with the Rhodians—a people based in the Aegean Sea to the east of mainland Greece.

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