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ATESTE (mod. Este, q.v.), an ancient town of Venetia, at the southern foot of the Euganean hills, 43 ft. above sea-level; 22 m. S.W. of Patavium (Padua). The site was occupied in very early times, as the discoveries since 1882 show. Large cemeteries have been excavated, which show three different periods from the 8th century B.C. down to the Roman domination. In the first period (Italic) cremation burials closely approximating to the Villanova type are found; in the second[1] (Venetian) the tombs are constructed of blocks of stone, and situlae (bronze buckets), sometimes decorated with elaborate designs, are frequently used to contain the cinerary urns; in the third (Gallic), which begins during the 4th century B.C., though cremation continues, the tombs are much poorer, the ossuaries being of badly baked rough clay, and show traces of Gallic influence, and characteristics of the La-Tène civilization. The many important objects found in these excavations are preserved in the local museum. See G. Ghirardini in Notizie degli Scavi; Monumenti dei Lincei, ii. (1893) 161 seq., vii. (1897) 5 seq., x. (1901) 5 seq.; Atti del Congresso Internazionale di Scienze Storiche (Rome, 1904), v. 279 seq. Inscriptions show that the national language asserted its existence even after Ateste came into the hands of the Romans. When this occurred is not known; boundary stones of 135 B.C. exist, which divide the territory of Ateste from that of Patavium and of Vicetia, showing that the former extended from the middle of the Euganean hills to the Atesis (mod. Adige, from which Ateste no doubt took its name, and on which it once stood). After the battle of Actium, Augustus settled veterans from various of his legions in this territory, Ateste being thenceforth spoken of as a colony. It appears to have furnished many recruits, especially for the cohortes urbanae. It appears but little in history, though its importance is vouched for by numerous inscriptions, the majority of which belong to the early Empire.  (T. As.) 

  1. This is by some authorities divided into two.