This is thanks to the advanced GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar) technology. A group of archaeologists revealed the map of a complete Roman city without a single excavator. The team consists of scientists from the Universities of Cambridge (Great Britain) and Ghent (Belgium). They showed details of the underground Roman city of Falerii Novi. It is a walled city in the Tiber Valley, about 50 kilometers north of Rome. It was around 241 BC. BC Founded.
The study was published in the journal “Antike”. “It is a spectacular level of detail that we have achieved at Falerii Novi. GPR technology has impressive query properties. It could change the way archaeologists study cities. “Martin Millett, a researcher at Cambridge University and co-author of the study, says this. This can be particularly revolutionary if cities cannot be excavated. This can happen because they are very large or because they are under more modern structures. See here Details about his research project.
Falerii Novi is a well documented place that has been studied for decades. It is not covered by modern buildings. Thanks to radar, the team was now able to display a complete layout. A bath complex, a market, a temple, a monument and even a complex pipe network are valued. Different layers of the complex are exposed thanks to the GPR functions. This makes it possible to study the development of the city over centuries.
The city follows a less standardized floor plan than in other old settlements like Pompeii. Some buildings are architecturally more complex than usual in such small towns. Some of the materials from the Roman city were stolen and used for more modern buildings.
A swimming pool and a great monument
The most surprising are the footprints of a swimming pool in the southern district. And a big monument near the north gate. There two large structures were connected by a Duplex porticus. It is a passageway covered by a ceiling supported by pillars.
All of this was possible thanks to GPR technology. It is based on the principles of conventional radar. However, the GPR can differentiate between materials at different depths. Advances in recent years have significantly improved the resolution and speed of measurements.
Falerii Novi is half the size of Pompeii. The researchers decided to pull a GPR device with one Quad. They examined more than 30 hectares and took measurements every 12.5 centimeters.
The authors of this study have already used this technique to study other ancient Roman cities. For example Interamna Lirenas in Italy and Aldborough in the UK. They hope to be able to study even larger settlements.
“We could study cities like Miletus in Turkey or Nikopolis in Greece,” said Millett. “We still have a lot to learn about urban life in Rome. This technology could open unprecedented opportunities. “
The Roman metro city didn’t offer us any surprises. New automated technologies will accelerate the process faster and faster. The future awaits us. Or would it be more correct to say: The past awaits us?