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19 January 2008
Giant concentric stone circle unearthed in Italy

Last July excavations for the new Sant'Anna hospital in San Fermo della Battaglia, near Como (Italy), revealed a double concentric circle of ancient stones. Thought to date back to 3000 BCE, the site is a "highly articulated prehistoric structure that could be either an ancient astronomical observatory or a sacred space," according to Stefania Iorio, Archaeological Superintendent of the region. The diameter of the two circles is about 70 metres, and they are crossed by a sort of pathway, paved with stones. A semicircle made of several layers of small stones and soil with a large stone (about 70cm wide) at its centre has also been found. Inside the circles there are traces of ritual ploughing.
"This site is truly important and very rare - there are no other sites like this in Northern Italy," said Mrs Iorio, "it is surely a megalithic structure, even if it's not made of large standing stones". Giancarlo Frigerio, chairman of the SocietÓ Archeologica Comense added that "it could be an ancient tumulus, and the structure found may represents its base, but it covers an area of about 4,000 square metres, while other tumuluses found in the region have an average diameter of only 4-5 metres".
There are plans to protect the whole area and to make an Archaeological Park, freely accessible from the nearby hospital, when completed.

Source: Corriere di Como (12 January 2008)

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