Exploration Geophysics Exploration Geophysics Society
Journal of the Australian Society of Exploration Geophysicists
RESEARCH ARTICLE

The research on the buried public monumental complexes of Lupiae (Lecce) by geophysical prospecting

Giovanni Leucci 1 2 Lara De Giorgi 1 Giacomo Di Giacomo 1 Imma Ditaranto 1 Ilaria Miccoli 1 Giuseppe Scardozzi 1
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1 Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto per i Beni Archeologici e Monumentali, Lecce, Italy.

2 Corresponding author. Email: g.leucci@ibam.cnr.it

Exploration Geophysics 48(4) 523-532 https://doi.org/10.1071/EG16010
Submitted: 29 January 2016  Accepted: 19 August 2016   Published: 19 October 2016

Abstract

Ongoing and extensive urbanisation may threaten important archaeological structures that are still buried in urban areas. The ground penetrating radar (GPR) method is the most promising alternative for resolving buried archaeological structures in urban territories. This paper presents a case study that involves a geophysical survey employing the surface three-dimensional (3D) GPR techniques, in order to archaeologically characterise the investigated areas. The site is located in the south-western sector of the historical centre of Lecce (Apulia, Italy), where the modern city overlaps the main public monuments of the Roman municipium of Lupiae, only partially preserved or excavated: the amphitheatre, the theatre, the baths and maybe also the Forum. GPR measurements, integrated with the results of archaeological excavations and the topographical surveys of the preserved remains, were carried out in several areas regarding sectors of the ancient roman city. The GPR data were collected along a dense network of parallel profiles. The GPR sections were processed applying specific filters to the data in order to enhance their information content. The GPR images significantly contributed in reconstructing the complex subsurface properties in these modern urban areas. Strong GPR reflections features were correlated with possible ancient structures and they were integrated in the digital archaeological map of the city.

Key words: archaeological maps, GPR, Roman monuments, urban archaeology, webGIS.


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