Radiography of the past. Integrated non-destructive approaches to understand and valorise complex archaeological sites

Start - End 
2008 - 2013 (completed)
Research group(s) 
Research Focus 



For several years the team directed by Prof Dr Frank Vermeulen operating in the western Mediterranean area focused on the intensive non-destructive study of a number of abandoned Roman towns in Italy, Corsica, and Portugal. Through intense collaboration with several European partners from academia and industry, this team has since 2009 moved to attempting a dynamic virtual reconstruction of such Roman cities within the EU-funded project "Radiography of the Past" (2009-2013). Existing projects where total surveys of Roman towns are being attempted (in Austria, Italy, France, Portugal and Greece) were linked and common strategies were developed for data collection, management, interpretation and presentation.

In one of these Roman cities, namely Ammaia in the Roman province of Lusitania (now Portugal), the newly gathered and highly detailed underground archaeological data allowed the making of a complete virtual reconstruction of the urban environment in the second century of our era. A video gave the virtual visitor a bird's eye view of the city and an interactive application, aimed at both the student of antiquity and the general public, provided an accurate picture of how a provincial town, created on the model of Rome, could be seen. The integration of software from the gaming industry with the very precise topographical models that arise from the non-invasive archaeological fieldwork is a European first for the total reconstruction of Roman Mediterranean cities.

More information on the project can be found on the website of Radio-Past (Radiography of the Past).