Contemporary anthropogenic landscapes were shaped by centuries of human action. Land surveying and division were the first forms of widespread landscape engineering performed by pre-industrial societies.

Among those, the most complex was unquestionably the Roman Centuriation, which still characterise the rural landscapes of many European countries.

Notwithstanding its impact on modern European land organisation, the principles underlying the design approach used by Roman land commissioners are still largely ambiguous, yet studying the long term persistence of centuriation and how its features survived has a key impact on our understanding of modern European landscapes and their conservation, and, collecting historic information from vulnerable cultural landscapes of universal relevance, responds to concerns underpinning the European Landscape Convention (2000).

VEiL project aims to illuminate the process of landscape engineering undertaken in antiquity by the Roman surveyors and contribute to the discipline of landscape engineering by injecting a new body of evidence into the debate about past land division and design in order to inform models of sustainable practice for contemporary landscape management.