Frank VERMEULEN1 / Cristina CORSI2 / Michael KLEIN3 / Guenther WEINLINGER3
(1Ghent University, Department of Archaeology, Belgium / 2Università di Cassino, Facolta di Lettere, Italy / 37reasons Medien GmbH; Austria)


  • full survey of an abandoned urban centre
  • integration of geophysics, remote sensing, stratigraphic and topographic data
  • reconstruction of the townscape

Abstract: Simultaneous with on-going archaeological excavations of the Roman town site of Ammaia in Southern Portugal, a group of researchers acting within the EC funded project “Radiography of the Past (RADIOPAST)”, have during the past two years, achieved a full coverage geophysical survey of the intra-mural part and large tracts of the extra-mural areas of this abandoned ancient city in Lusitania. Using a wide array of instruments, for prospections with GPR, earth resistance and magnetometers, this approach allowed an in depth analysis of an abandoned Roman centre, linking the excellent survey data with stratigraphic information, obtained via earlier excavations and via focused ground truthing operations, including small trenching and augering. Together with data from remote sensing and fine DGPS surveys this now allows to study the urbanism of a very systematically and ex novo built Romano-Lusitanian town. Part of the field project also leads to a tentative reconstruction of many aspects of the urban pattern and structures, providing a unique high resolution survey-based approach to visualising ancient cities. The presentation will include aspects of integrated methodology of survey, high resolution mapping results and will discuss the process of visualisation of the site in Roman times.

Keywords: non-destructive survey, Roman town, Portugal