Thursday, August 09, 2012

Magnetic Prospecting for the Archaeology of Classe (Ravenna)

The town of Classe was founded at the beginning of the fifth century ad south of Ravenna. There are a few surviving monuments, such as the basilica of St Apollinare in Classe, as well as other important sites documented by the excavations of the University of Bologna and the Superintendence for Archaeological Heritage of Emilia Romagna. These are situated particularly in the areas of the commercial port and the Basilica of St Severo.

Much of the remains of the ancient town are hidden beneath modern soils. An integrated project, initiated in 2005, was conducted to learn more about the buried remains and the ancient landscape of Classe. The project used historical and cartographic sources, geology and geomorphology studies, analysis of aerial photography, geophysical and remote sensing techniques, aerial and field walking surveys, and their integration with data from archaeological excavations. In order to obtain a synthesis of all the collected data, different data sets were processed and managed using a GIS platform. The paper presents some results of this research obtained from different geomagnetic prospecting systems in three relevant areas of Classe, particularly important for understanding the ancient urban topography of the site. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.