Today’s Solutions: October 03, 2022

We have previously written about how high-tech laser scanners have enabled scientists to discover the oldest and largest known structure built by the Mayans. Equipped with similar state-of-the-art technology, a group of archaeologists has managed to map an entire ancient Roman city while it’s still beneath the ground.

Located 31 miles north of Rome, the ancient Roman city of Falerii Novi has been mapped using data taken from ground-penetrating radar. The map is still in its preliminary phase because it wasn’t humanly possible for the researchers to fully analyze the 28 billion data points collected during the course of the project, explained Martin Millet, a co-author of the study.

Using radar technology, the researchers were able to document the locations of buildings, monuments, passageways, and even water pipes – all without having to pick up a single hand trowel.

What else is fascinating is that in addition to documenting these previously unknown architectural features, the scientists were able to chronicle changes to the city over time and discern unique elements not seen elsewhere in ancient Rome.

For the survey, Millett and his colleagues used an all-terrain vehicle to tow a rig equipped with ground-penetrating radar. The scientists made scans every 12.5 centimeters (4.9 inches) across the entire 75-acre site. Falerii Novi was chosen as a good place to test the technology, as the town is not obscured by forests or buried beneath newer structures.

Equipped with their radar scans, the archaeologists documented a bath complex, a market, a pair of temples along the periphery, an outdoor theatre, atrium homes, and a shopping area. They also discovered a large public monument consisting of two structures facing each other in a configuration not seen elsewhere in ancient Rome.

To cope with the massive amount of data, the researchers are developing an automated process to help with the analysis, which will involve computer-aided object detection. This could result in further insights and discoveries.

What’s more, the paper represents an important proof-of-concept, showing how ancient history can be studied in detail while leaving everything in its place.

Solutions News Source Print this article
More of Today's Solutions

Psychiatrists in Brussels trial free museum visits to treat anxiety and stress

In Brussels, those who are struggling with mental health issues such as stress, depression, or anxiety will be offered an unorthodox and innovative treatment: ...

Read More

Follow these 5 steps to develop real empathy

Empathy does not mean you understand someone’s experience because you have been there, too. You can never really know what someone is going through ...

Read More

Iceland recommends this natural remedy to help with social isolation

Given that humans are by nature social animals, in a time when close contact and embracing are discouraged to slow the spread of the ...

Read More

Craving a bedtime snack? These 9 foods promote deeper sleep

Warm milk is a class pre-bedtime sleep aid, but it turns out there are lots of sleep-inducing foods to choose from for a late-night ...

Read More