Uniting technical expertise at Ostia Antica

Dr. Hanna Stöger teamed up with geophysicist Dr. Till Sonnemann and surveying specialist Eric Dullart from our faculty. Together with  Dr. Dominique Ngan-Tillard from TU Delft’s Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, and building engineer Eraldo Brandimarte from the University of Perugia, they provided a group of students from Leiden, Delft and Augsburg with a week-long geophysical and archaeological fieldwork experience at Ostia Antica, Italy.

An introduction to the arts and architecture of Ostia Antica. Photo: Till Sonnemann

An introduction to the arts and architecture of Ostia Antica. Photo: Till Sonnemann

Drone imagery and total station data was used to record the topography of the surveyed area. Photo: Till Sonnemann

Drone imagery and total station data was used to record the topography of the surveyed area. Photo: Till Sonnemann

A combination of prospection techniques was applied to investigate unexcavated areas of the principal port-town of the Roman Empire; from ground-penetrating radar surveys to expose the subsurface features, to topographic studies and micro-UAS (commonly known as drones) for photogrammetrical analysis.

The GPR survey covered an area of about two hectares.  Photo: Till Sonnemann

The GPR survey covered an area of about two hectares. Photo: Till Sonnemann

The research forms part of the ‘Neighbourhoods of Roman Ostia’ study conducted by Hanna Stöger. The project is committed to non-invasive methods in archaeology and aims to reconstruct urban neighbourhoods from a long-term perspective.

During the fieldschool the team used this opportunity to present the first 3D-printed model of an insula of Ostia to Dott.ssa Cinzia Morelli, one of the directors of the heritage site.

The field school in Ostia was organized within the EU-funded Archaeolandscape project, of which Leiden University is a partner.

A 3D model of an insula was presented to Dott.ssa Cinzia Morelli. Photo: Till Sonnemann

A 3D model of an insula was presented to Dott.ssa Cinzia Morelli. Photo: Till Sonnemann

The goal of the 2015 survey was to combine the expertise of geoscience and archaeology. The results of the surveys will be further investigated by two jointly supervised bachelor theses at TU Delft and a master thesis at the University of Leiden. This multi-disciplinary research will hopefully lead to further successful  future collaborations.

Last Modified: 01-06-2015