New archaeological sites discovered near Aquileia


Satellite images and air laser scans taken near the ancient city of Aquileia allowed Ca’ Foscari University of Venice’s archaeologists to find at least three settlements that will be further explored with additional investigations and archaeological digs. These settlements would be part of the centurial system which traced the limits of the Roman city.

The first recognitions on the ground confirmed expectations: Roman coins dated from the 3rd century A. D. as well as a bronze fibula and many ceramics and construction material (including marble and mosaics) remains were brought up to light.

The research activity is part of ‘Mare Curie’ fellow Arianna Traviglia’s project Visualising Engineered Landscapes (VEiL ). Students of several universities including the University of Milan, University of Udine and IMT School for Advanced Studies Lucca.

Researchers have based their investigation on circumstantial evidence gathered with satellite images and Lidar, an optical remote sensing technology which uses a flying device with a laser scanner that can see through vegetation and offer an optimal vision of what hides underneath.

Research at the cartography archive of the National Museum of Aquileia shed light on the very little information available on the studied area, confirming how relevant and unique these findings are.

The potential archaeological sites will be investigated more closely in the Fall. These settlements are located in a rural area divided in private properties and fields, roads and drainage channels.

During recognition researchers have only used digital detection methods, from GPS/GNSS trackers to correctly register positions of artefacts to tablets and cellphones to write down relevant data without using paper.