A vast hoard of treasures from one of Italy's oldest and most mysterious archaeological sites has been tracked down to what Italian police described as "several secret museums" in Austria .
Thousands of priceless objects from Crustumerium near Rome were found on display in private residences in the Danube city of Linz and other Austrian towns, the Carabinieri's art crime division said on Thursday .
There were also finds from "other parts of Italy," the police said .
Some 600 objects have been seized and are already back in Italy, where archaeological teams are set to examine them .
Italian art cops have to keep a constant guard against tomb raids and other thefts commissioned by shady middlemen and unscrupulous dealers. The culture authorities here have been stepping up the fight to reclaim plundered riches now in private - and even public - hands abroad .
Crustumerium is a prehistorical site whose story has yet to be fully unravelled .
In the Aeneid, the greatest work by Ancient Rome's finest epic poet Virgil, the fabled city is mentioned as being renowned for its weapons-makers .
Virgil says they supplied local tribes fighting the Trojan hero Aeneas, who started the blood line leading to Romulus and Remus .