The remains of a Roman aqueduct dating back to the 1st century have been uncovered in the southern Spanish city of Cadiz in the wake of Storm Emma.
Hundreds of vehicles, yachts and seaside properties were damaged when the storm hit hard along the coast of southern Andalucia late last week, even whipping up a tornado in Puerto de Santa María.
But once the winds died down, the removal of several feet of sand from Cádiz’s Cortadura beach revealed extraordinary archaeological treasures.
Click Here: NRL Telstra Premiership
As well as the fragments of the Roman aqueduct were remains of road dating back to the 16th-17th century which was destroyed by a tsunami in 1755.
“We were alerted to the presence of these remains, and to the fact that people were digging in the area, so we went there, warned people to stop what they were doing, and called city officials,” Moisés Camacho, president of the Association for the Investigation and Dissemination of Cádiz’s Heritage (Adip), told the Spanish newspaper El País.
Stretching almost 50 miles inland to the freshwater springs of Tempul, Cádiz’s Roman aqueduct was one of the most important feats of engineering undertaken in Hispania and is said to be the fifth-largest construction of its kind in the Roman Empire.
The final stretch is believed to have run across the sea to Cadiz – which was described by Roman geographers and historians as an island, though it is now joined to mainland Spain by the slender Cortadura beach.
Once confirmed, the discovery will be the first part of the aqueduct to have been found for decades. “We knew the aqueduct’s route passed this way but we had never seen it.
Five or six fragments have appeared but we expect to find more,” said Mr Camacho. “Two of these fragments are still joined together with the original mortar, which is a rare occurrence.”
Cádiz was founded by the Phoenicians around 1100 BC before being fought over by Carthage and Rome. Known as Gades after falling to Rome in 206 BC, the aqueduct was built in the first century of the modern era to improve on the water quality provided by a Phoenician cistern.