Archaeologists finally date the ancient Italian “infinity pool”
Archaeologists eventually managed to date a unique wooden structure that was unearthed on a small hill in the Po Plain in northern Italy in 2005 around 1400 BC. The structure, a former “infinity pool” used around 3,000 years ago, has also been the site of many discoveries. historical artifacts, including ceramic vessels and figurines.
The underground structure, which is called “Noceto Vasca Votiva”, was built mostly of oak wood and is slightly larger than a modern backyard pool. Scientists at Cornell University in New York have used dendrochronology and a form of radiocarbon dating to determine the dates when the two main parts of the old infinity pool were created.
New research has shown that the lower tank was built in 1444 BC and the upper tank was built in 1432 BC, both in the Middle Bronze Age, finally giving an exact age to the history of the pool. which had remained shrouded in mystery for over 15 years. .
The swimming pool, located in the Po plain between the Alps and the Apennine mountain range, had divided archaeologists who estimated its date of construction between 1600 and 1300 BC. Classics and director of the Tree-Ring Laboratory, used a form of carbon dating called “wiggle-matching”.
According to the study, the technique allows scientists to accurately date wooden artifacts with tree ring sequences – even when there are no continuous tree ring sequences available for the study. species or particular geographic area – by matching radiocarbon isotope models of ancient wood artifacts’ annual growth increments, or tree rings, with models from datasets found elsewhere in the world.
The study, published in the scientific journal Science Daily, noted that the Noceto Vasca Votiva was a massive undertaking for its time requiring considerable labor to dig up the pool site and drag timber to its upstream location. The study also provided theories on the purpose of the swimming pool.
The infinity pool was not used as a reservoir according to the researchers, given its rather inaccessible position, it was also not used for irrigation. Evidence suggests the structure was part of a supernatural water ritual, as Manning’s team noted that several objects, including ceramic vessels and figurines, were discovered deposited inside the tanks.
The pool’s sleek architecture, which also gives it some qualities of modern “infinity pools”, was probably also the result of spiritual reasons, according to Manning.
“It’s tempting to think of it as creating a reflective surface in which you can see and where you put offerings, but you also look at the sky above and the connection between the earth, the sky and the water (rain), ”Manning told Science Daily.