Quake in Italy unearths prehistoric dwellings

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Rome, April 20 (ANI): Reports indicate that the powerful earthquake in the central Italian Abruzzo regional capital L'Aquila last week has unearthed prehistoric dwellings there.

Some of the vaulted caves measure up to five meters in height, Italian geologist Gianluca Ferretti told Italian daily La Stampa.

"We are exploring them," said Ferretti, who teaches geology at L'Aquila's university.

One the biggest caves is located near L'Aquila's bus terminal, in via di Collemaggio. The caves date back 15,000 years, according to geologists.

"Some of the caves were hollowed out by the first shepherds to inhabit the area, who would also use them as shelters for their animals," said Ferretti's colleague, Antonio Moretti.

But, while they represent a fascinating archaeological find, the emergence of the caves has worried geologists.

"It shows the fragility of the sediment on which the area is built," said Ferretti.

The magnitude 6.3 quake last Monday destroyed or seriously damaged several thousand buildings in L'Aquila and surrounding villages, killing 295 people and leaving 55,000 homeless. (ANI)

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