'

Google Earth leads to archaeological find

After Hours: Thanks to one sharp-eyed Italian a shaded area on a satellite image was found to be a Roman villa

An Italian computer programmer found the remains of an ancient Roman villa after browsing Google's mapping and satellite imaging application, Google Earth, according to reports.

Luca Mori was looking at Google Earth images of the region around Sorbolo, a town near Parma in Northern Italy, when he noticed a shaded oval area more than 150m long.

"At first I thought it was a stain on the photograph but when I zoomed in I saw that there was something under the earth," Mori told the Daily Telegraph.

Mori contacted local archaeologists, who later visited the site and found ceramic pieces on the site. These finds confirmed that a Roman villa once stood on the site, which is now farmland.

Google Earth can be downloaded here.