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Dipartimento per la Programmazione il Coordinamento e gli Affari Economici
Servizio per lo sviluppo e il Potenziamento delle Attività di ricerca (SSPAR)

FIRB 2003 D.D. 2186-Ric 12 dicembre 2003
Protocollo: RBNE037EJJ

Programma Strategico: Human, economical and social sciences
Progetto Obiettivo: The Euromediterranean cooperation
Risultati attesi: Methods and advanced technologies for the study and the valorisation of the ancient archeological and monumental heritage of the Mediterranean area

Code: RBNE037EJJ

Coordinatore scientifico della ricerca:
RANIERI Gaetano Professore Ordinario Università degli Studi di CAGLIARI


The archaeological prospection and excavation of an ancient settlement is a slow, careful and consequently costly operation. Often times, and particularly in the Mediterranean region, city were built next to the coastline, in order to provide bases for trade along the most convenient pathway of the time – the sea. Subsequent relative motion of land and sea, and the enhanced erosion and sedimentation caused by wind and sea, caused these cities to be buried or sunk into the sea, almost invariably together with their harbours. Therefore, prospection of such sites is particularly difficult and slow. The need arises for a comprehensive prospection , that can delineate the areas of further direct investigations. In this research project, we propose a methodology based on a sequence of steps, starting from a refined analysis of satellite, remote and small scale aerial photographs, in order to define the prospection on land and at sea, via progressively selective and advanced non invasive, geophysical techniques. We will apply (a) stripping techniques to the shallowest non productive layer via filtering of the aerial photographs; (b) magnetic and electromagnetic methods, by adapting sensors to the use in shallow waters; (c) 2D and 3D electric tomographies, enhanced both in the field practice by using continuous towing, and in the data inversion; (d) single-channel seismic sections using a light sparker (400J), and side scan sonar views. The final outcome will be a digital 3D representation of the subsurface, that will help define candidate excavation areas, and will have at the same time an intrinsic cultural and touristic value before the full site excavation. Four sites of archaeological interest will be investigated: the Phoenician city of Neapolis, in the southern gulf of Oristano, Sardinia; the Roman city of Pollentia in the Island of Majorca, Spain; Peristeria and Kyparissia, the cities and funerary structures of Messenian period in the Olympia district, Peloponnesos, Greece; the harbour structure of Lixus, Morocco and the underwater structures of Cartago, Tunisia.



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