Archaeologists have learned to create full three-dimensional maps of cities, hidden underground. To do this, they combine the data obtained by fluxgate gradientometry and GPR. The method will be tested on ancient Roman settlement New Falerii in Italy. The preliminary results of their work, scientists published in the journal Antiquity.
New Falerii (Falerii Novi), located about 50 kilometers North of Rome. The city was founded in the year 241 BC, after the conquest by the Romans of a local tribe falicov. It remained inhabited until the VII–VIII centuries of our era. New Falerii occupied an area of 30.5 hectares. Now only a few excavated structures, much of the city remains underground.
In a series of studies in 2000 years with the use of fluxgate gradientometry the archaeologists were able to produce detailed two-dimensional plans for a New Falerii. However, this research method is associated with a number of limitations: gradientometer able to look only at a shallow depth. Because of this, among other things, it is not always possible to distinguish between gradientometry elements of buildings and debris.
A group of scientists under the leadership of Verdonk Lieven (Lieven Verdonck) from Ghent University explored New Falerii using ground-penetrating radar, which consists of 15 antennas. They were fixed on a horizontal frame, which was harnessed to the ATV. This design has traveled all over the territory of the settlement, making the photos several underground layers.