Radar shows in incredible detail the splendor of the ancient Roman City
Researchers used ground-penetrating radar to map a whole ancient Roman city in a glimpse of the future of archaeology, The discovery of incredible knowledge of still deep underground buildings including a temple and a special public monument. Researchers said on Monday that the technology was used in Falerii Novi, a 75-acre (30,5 hectare) walled town about 30 miles (50 km) north of Rome.
Falerii Novi was founded during the Roman Republic in 241 BC, and was inhabited in the early Middle Ages until about 700 AD.
It marked the first time a complete ancient city has been mapped using ground-penetrating radar ( GPR), enabling researchers to rapidly explore large-scale archeological sites without excavation, which can be costly and time-consuming. Using a radar antenna that sends a pulsed radio signal into the ground and listens to the echos bouncing off objects, the device will “see” under the earth. An all-terrain vehicle was used to drive the GPR equipment across the surface.
Falerii Novi, not even half the size of ancient Pompeii, had been partly excavated previously, but most remained buried. It boasted an unusually elaborate public bath complex and market building, with a population of perhaps 3,000 inhabitants, at least 60 large houses and a rectangular temple with columns near the south gate of the city.
Like any other known, near the north gate was a public monument, with a colonnaded portico on three sides and a wide open square measuring 130 by 300 feet (40 by 90 metres). Falerii Novi had a water pipes network running under the city blocks and not just along the streets, indicating coordinated urban planning.