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Mapping the Via Appia

Mapping the Via Appia
The Mapping the Via Appia project is a multi- disciplinary research project that aims to document, study and valorize the archaeological remains in and around the fifth mile of the Via Appia. 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 also poses some important 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 hitherto employed in for example 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. The proposed project’s main strength, however, is the use of new 3D spatial mapping and analysis techniques that are combined with geophysical prospection, remote sensing techniques, field survey, excavation and archival studies. As a result, the research project not only offers invaluable new data on the functioning of this particular and other Roman consular roads, but will also provide a new methodological framework for studying monumental archaeological landscapes that can be used and further devolved on other research projects.

Research team

G.J. Burgers – heritage and landscape archaeology – KNIR

O.J. Hekster – ancient history - RU

H. Kammerer-Grothaus – classical archaeology – Universität Bremen (UB)

H. Kars, archaeological science, VU (IGBA)

M.T.M. de Kleijn – GIS- VU (SPINlab)

S.T.A.M. Mols – classical archaeology – RU

E.M. Moormann – classical archaeology – RU

R. Paris- Archaeological Service of Rome

Pelgrom – classical and landscape archaeology - KNIR

S. Soetens - prospective archaeology - IGBA-VU

Christel Veen – classical archaeology -RU

Funding and involved institutes: NWO (Investeringssubsidie middelgroot.), RU (Nijmegen)- department of Classics, VU (Amsterdam)- IGBA; SPINlab, research institute CLUE, KNIR, Archaeological Service of Rome, German Archaeological Institute, Rome

Regions: Central Italy
Periods: Hellenistic, Late Roman, Medieval, Roman
Institutes: Radboud University Nijmegen, The Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome, VU University Amsterdam