A roman city in the radar of the science

Une cité romaine dans les radars de la science

Baths, a market, a temple and even a significant network of water pipes… For the first time, researchers have accurately mapped an ancient roman city without moving the lower stone.

To achieve this, a team including scientists from the university of Cambridge (uk) and Ghent university (Belgium) has used a ground penetrating radar (GPR) to probe the depths of 30.5 hectares of Falerii Novi, there débusquant details buried.

“This is the first time that this technology is used to map an entire city “, said to AFP Martin Millett of the University of Cambridge, co-author of the study published Tuesday in Antiquity.

Located in the Latium, about fifty miles from Rome, the roman city was occupied for the first time around 240 bc, and has remained so up to 700 years after J.-C. Since the 1990s, it had already been the object of excavations and studies. But the GPR allows researchers to probe different depths and, in particular, to see how the city has evolved over the centuries.

According to the data obtained by the researchers, “the plan of Falerii Novi is much less standardized than that of many other roman cities, for example Pompeii,” reports a press release from the university of Cambridge.

And ” the temple, the market building and the spa complex, discovered during this research are architecturally more elaborate than what one might expect for a small town “.

The researchers have also discovered a surprising series of water pipes. The pipes pass through a large part of Falerii Novi, passing the same under the blocks and not only on the streets, as is more often the case.

“The level of amazing detail that we have achieved at Falerii Novi, and the surprising features that the GPR has revealed to suggest that this type of research could transform how archaeologists investigate the urban sites,” notes Martin Millett.

But the work does not remain about it less long-winded: dissect the enormous amount of data accumulated by the GPR may take several months.

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