Long-Lost Medieval Church Uncovered Under Piazza San Marco, Venice


Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
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Archaeologists working in Venice, Italy, uncovered a long-lost medieval church mid-February in Piazza San Marco.

Within Piazza San Marco currently stands the Basilica of San Marco, but recent excavations at the site revealed a medieval church, believed to be dedicated to San Geminiano, according to a Facebook post from Superintendency of Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape for the Municipality of Venice and the Lagoon. Archaeologists working at the site first uncovered a rectangular brick tomb filled with human skeletal remains, which dates back to the seventh or eighth century (roughly 1,200-years-old), the Miami Herald reported.

The remains of at least seven people have been found thus far, one of which is believed to be an 8-year-old child. Besides the tomb, archaeologists found the ruins of walls and floors, thought to belong to the San Geminiano church, which was repeatedly demolished and relocated before it was permanently destroyed in the early 1800s.

It is pretty incredible to think that these remains and treasures actually lasted as long as they did, given Venice and the Piazza’s proclivity for flooding. Back in 2021, tourists and locals alike waded through unseasonal summer flooding at the iconic square, according to Reuters.

The area is often hit by “acqua alta” (high water) throughout fall and winter, with one flood in November 2019 causing millions of dollars in damages. (RELATED: Scientists Reveal Newly Legible Pompeii Scrolls, Unread For Almost 2,000 Years. Is History About To Blow Up?)

To think that this church and these people stayed safe amid the onslaught of natural disasters throughout the centuries is pretty incredible. Almost like a gift from God. Research work on the site is ongoing, so who knows what else might turn up in the near future.