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Mapping the Via Appia

Researchers

Radboud University

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

  • Dr Maurice de Klein

Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

  • Dr Jeremia Pelgrom

Parco Archeologico dell’Appia Antica

  • Dr Simone Quilici

German Archaeological Institute in Rome

  • Dr Norbert Zimmermann

Time frame

2009 - 2026

Project description

The research project ‘Mapping the Via Appia’, aims at a thorough inventory and analysis of the Roman and later interventions in the suburban landscape. The project focuses on the archaeological remains and ancient and modern sources of a road stretch of two kilometres in length, between the modern crossroads Via di Erode Attico and Via di Casal Rotondo in the city of Rome (part of the 5th and 6th miles of the oldest consular road), and its hinterland.

The wealth of archaeological monuments preserved both above and beneath ground level, as well as the opulent documentary evidence in archives and digital resources (mainly photographs), make a very detailed multidisciplinary analysis of the history of the road and its surroundings possible. At the same time, this huge amount of wide-ranging data poses methodological challenges and requires the development of new documentation and analysis strategies. The complex architectural design of several monuments - as well as the detailed archival records -, have resulted in an archaeological and historical landscape which cannot be studied by only using established recording systems like regional field survey projects. Therefore, the project uses a new and innovative research strategy designed especially for the efficient recording and study of complex and monumental archaeological landscapes with long occupational histories. For this means, professional GPS (DGPS) is used which refines the techniques of archaeological survey and documentation of visual remains, in combination with 3D spatial mapping and analysis techniques. These are combined with geophysical prospection, remote sensing techniques, field survey, excavations and archival studies. As a result, the project not only offers new data on the functioning of this particular and other Roman consular roads, but also provides a new methodological framework for studying monumental archaeological landscapes that can be used and further devolved on other research projects.

Excavation Photograph 2017

Excavation 2017

Fragments of wall painting found during RU excavation

Fragments of wall painting found during RU excavation

Keywords

Inventory of architecture, landscape archaeology, excavations, 3D spatial mapping and analysis

Results

3D-reconstructions can be found at: https://revisited-via-appia.nl/

Financier

  • Radboud University
  • VU University
  • NWO (2012-2017)

Partners

  • Radboud University
  • VU University
  • KNIR/Groningen University
  • Parco Archeologico dell’Appia Antica
  • German Archaeological Institute in Rome

Contact

Prof. Stephan Mols, stephan.mols@ru.nl