Ground penetrating radar maps of the Roman city

Ground penetrating radar maps of the Roman city

Archaeologists have mapped the entire Valeri Novi Roman site using GPR technology.

Valerian Novi was a walled Roman city founded around 241 BC, located 50 km north of Rome on the Tiber River valley.

– advertisement –

Historians believe that Valeri Novi was founded after the Romans replaced the Valici tribe, following a revolt against Roman authority in the region. At its peak, the city covered an area of ​​75 acres and remained inhabited until the early Middle Ages around 700 AD.

Archaeologists are using advanced ground-penetrating radar to scan the entire city for the first time. Ground penetrating radar is a geophysical study that uses radar pulses to create an image of features or boundaries between materials beneath the surface.

Although the principle of GPR has been around since 1910, when the first use of continuous wave radar to locate buried objects was applied by Gotthelf Limbach and Heinrich Loewe, the technology has advanced significantly over the past few years. Today GPR takes high-resolution images, with a reading taken every 12.5 cm across the entire site, towed by an all-terrain vehicle to quickly map large areas of Valeri Novi.

– advertisement –

Research now published in the journal Antiquity has led to the discovery of several previously unknown buried buildings, including a large bathing complex, a market or forum, a temple, and some type of public monument.

Image credit: Antiquity

Professor Martin Millett, from the University of Cambridge, said: “The level of detail provided by this work demonstrated how this type of survey has the potential to revolutionize archaeological studies of urban sites.”

However, the enormous wealth of data produced by such high-resolution maps creates its own set of problems. Traditional methods of manual analysis are very time consuming, requiring approximately 20 hours to fully document one hectare. As such, it may take some time before the researchers finish examining Valeri Novi, so in an attempt to speed up the process, they are exploring methods for automated analysis.

However, even these preliminary findings still reveal a lot about Roman cities. Notably, it appears less uniform than many other well-studied cities, such as Pompeii, revealing the complexity and diversity of Roman urban design. This technology has the potential to revolutionize our understanding of Roman cities.

Header Portrait – Valery Novy – Image Credit: Antiquity

– advertisement –

(Tags for translation)Archaeology

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *