Francesca SOGLIANI / Dimitris ROUBIS
(Institute of Archaeological and Monumental Heritage, CNR, Italy)


In the frame of the three last decades of experience in Italian urban archaeology,  we are working to reconsiderate the dynamics of growth/development/fall of urban sites in south Italy, in particular in the region of Basilicata. The history of ancient towns in this area has been characterized by a low number of urban settlement in ancient greek and roman period, in which we are able to recognize the topographical transformation through late antiquity until the middle age, due to archaeological investigations. The majority of ancient towns has been abandoned, and the new towns were located just close to the old ones, so we can talk about “archaeology of towns”, but a very  particular situation is represented by the town of Matera, one of the most famous rupestrian  settlement of the Mediterranean basin, mentioned in the Unesco World Heritage List. This is a “archaeology in town” case of study in which we are applying a multidisciplinary approach to reconstruct the history

of this particular case of urban settlement, using stratigraphic excavations, archives, written sources, maps and ancient cartography, archaeobotanical and anthropological studies, geoarchaeology  focused to realize an archaeological Map as a tool for the local bodies, the scholars and the public and to give contents for a project of the realization of the virtual museum of the town.


Methodology/Approach: Study of archaeological materials coming from excavations, stratigraphical excavations; databases compliant to GIS; spatial analysis; geoarchaeology; studies of historical documentation; digitization of ancient maps and cartography; archaeobotanical and anthropological inventories; geomorphology; 3D and laser scanning technologies for archaeological heritage recording; feasibility project of cultural itineraries.

Results: Archaeological and Risk Maps; Cultural resources Maps ; Thematic urban itineraries; audioguides; Development of on line and off line platforms for the remote use of Cultural Urban Heritage.

Innovations: We are looking for the complete integration between  the basic  archaeological research, scientifically validated,  and the spreading of information focused on the highlighting, management and enjoyment of cultural heritage in a rupestrian urban area, using a multidisciplinary approach and ITC new tools.


urban archaeology; GIS; spatial analysis; achaeological maps; rescue archaeology; 3D technologies; virtual tour