Dr. Paolo Visona (University of Kentucky) has unveiled an exciting discovery in the Dossone della Melia forest in south-central Calabria. Visona led a small team that identified a stone wall and earthwork extending over 2.7 km. The wall, originally accompanied by a deep ditch characteristic of a Roman fossa and agger defensive system, has now been conclusively identified as part of the structures built by the Roman general Marcus Licinius Crassus to contain the slave revolt leader Spartacus and his forces.

Visona believes that Spartacus attacked the wall in his bid to break free of the trap that Crassus had constructed for him. The discovery of numerous broken iron weapons, including sword handles, large curved blades, javelin points, a spearhead, and other metal debris, indicate a battle took place at the site.

According to Dr. Visona, the discovery was made possible by a tip from a local group of environmentalists who knew of the wall’s existence but were puzzled as to what it could be. The team investigated the wall and ditch using Ground-Penetrating Radar, LIDAR, magnetometry, and soil core sampling.

Visona’s team, a diverse group of experts from different fields, including University of Kentucky Professor George M. Crothers, an anthropologist and geophysics specialist; Margo T. Crothers, a sophomore at Washington University in Saint Louis; and James R. Jansson, a founding member of the Foundation for Calabrian Archaeology and a long-time member of the Archeological Institute of America, collaborated effectively to make this significant discovery.