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The study and characterization of Emperor Traiano's Villa Altopiani di Arcinazzo Roma using high-resolution integrated geophysical surveys.

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Archaeological Prospection
Archaeol. Prospect. 10, 1–25 (2003)
Published online 27 January 2003 in Wiley InterScience (www.interscience.wiley.com). DOI: 10.1002/arp.203
The Study and Characterization of
Emperor Traiano’s Villa (Altopiani di
Arcinazzo, Roma) using
High-resolution Integrated
Geophysical Surveys
S. PIRO,1 * D. GOODMAN2 AND Y. NISHIMURA3
1
Istituto per le Tecnologie Applicate ai Beni Culturali (ITABC-CNR) P.O. Box 10, 00016
Monterotondo Sc., Roma, Italy
2
Geophysical Archaeometry Laboratory, University of Miami Japan Division, Japan
3
Nara National Cultural Properties Research Institute, Nara, Japan
ABSTRACT
In this work, the results of high-resolution integrated geophysical surveys of the archaeological site
of Traiano’s Villa (Altopiani di Arcinazzo, Roma, Italy) are presented. The Villa of Roman Emperor
Marco Ulpio Traino (AD 98–117) was built in Arcinazzo (Italy), approximately 55 km northeast
of Rome. Today, the only remains left standing at the site are the public building entrances
comprising a small portion of the entire site. Over 5 ha, adjacent to the entrance remains, had not
been surveyed. As part of an ongoing study to rescue this national archaeological treasure, highresolution ground-penetrating radar (GPR) surveys, using a submetre profile spacing, integrated
with a gradiometric survey, were conducted. Amplitude GPR time-slice analysis indicates that
many structural foundations and walls of the villa are still well preserved below the surface. Timeslices below 1.5 m in one area indicate two large mushroom shaped structures enclosed within
a large building over 100 m in length. These structures are believed to be dipping pools within a
larger structure believed to be the bathhouse to the villa. At the location west of the bathhouse
a large oval shaped anomaly 45 m along its major axis was located. This subsurface structure is
believed to be an oval garden pond or a swimming pool. Several other remnants of rectangular
buildings coincident with the oval structure but much deeper were also imaged. Other structures
include a long rectangular corridor that contains many square shaped rooms, which has been
interpreted as a criptoporticus.
The magnetic map, related to part of the area investigated, shows many dipole anomalies.
These anomalies represent linear and semicircular structures of the villa. The magnetic results
provide complementary information to the GPR survey that lines out walls and floors. Copyright 
2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Key words: integrated geophysical survey; high-resolution acquisition; GPR; fluxgate
gradiometer; Emperor Traiano’s Villa
Introduction
Nowadays non-destructive ground-surface integrated geophysical prospecting methods, which
*
Correspondence to: Dr S. Piro, Istituto per le Tecnologie
Applicate ai Beni Culturali (ITABC-CNR), P.O. Box 10, 00016
Monterotondo Sc., Roma, Italy.
E-mail: Salvatore.Piro@mlib.cnr.it
Copyright  2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
involve detailed physical and geometrical characterization of subsurface structures, are increasingly used for the investigation of archaeological sites.
The combination of ground penetrating radar
(GPR) with other geophysical prospecting methods (magnetic and/or geoelectric methods) offer
very high resolution sounding capability with
Received 20 April 2002
Accepted 10 December 2002
2
detection of features of the order of a few tens of
centimetres thickness at ranges of several metres
(Cammarano et al., 1997, 1998; Neubauer and
Eder-Hinterleitner, 1997; Gaffney and Gaffney,
2000; Piro et al., 2000; Carrara et al., 2001).
This work summarises the results of a research
project funded by Soprintendenza Archeologica
per il Lazio (Italian Ministery of Cultural and
Environmental Heritage) and Istituto per le Tecnologie Applicate ai Beni Culturali (ITABC-CNR)
carried out in 1999–2001. The aim of the project
was the development of a method for combining
the results of integrated geophysical prospections
for creating a detailed archaeological interpretation. The selected archaeological site, situated on
Altopiani di Arcinazzo (Roma) characterized by
the presence of structures related to Traiano’s
Villa, was carried out using high-resolution GPR
surveys and a high-resolution fluxgate differential magnetic (FDM) survey. The GPR surveys
were carried out over two seasons at Altopiani di
Arcinazzo between 1999 and 2001. The geological situation and some preliminary excavations at
the site suggested that a GPR survey could adequately map subsurface structures for a depth of
several metres. The primary goal for a remote
S. Piro, D. Goodman and Y. Nishimura
sensing survey of the site was to determine as
for as possible the location, shape and purpose of
any subsurface building structures. The images
obtained from the survey would provide useful information for archaeologists planning many
years of future excavation at the site. Prior knowledge of subsurface structures from the villa would
be very important for the archaeologists in the
development of an excavation strategy as well
as helping to manage resources assigned for the
excavation effectively.
The archaeological site
Traiano’s Villa, near the Affilani Mountains
(Lazio region of central Italy), is the most inland
of all the imperial villas located near Rome
(Figure 1). Because the villa is situated high in
the mountains suggests that it was probably used
for summer holidays and for hunting expeditions.
The site was ascribed to be the Villa of Emperor
Marco Ulpio Traiano (AD 98–117) after earlier
archaeological excavations made during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. The archaeological site, which is 55 km from Rome, could
Figure 1. Location map of Traiano’s Villa site (Altopiani di Arcinazzo, Roma, Italy).
Copyright  2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Archaeol. Prospect. 10, 1–25 (2003)
Emperor Traiano’s Villa
3
Figure 2. Traiano’s Villa (Altopiani di Arcinazzo) lower terrace; plan view of the excavated structures, in the public portion of
the villa (courtesy of Soprintendenza Archeologica per il Lazio).
be easily reached during Roman times by the
Valeria, Sublacensis or the Prenestina roads. The
buildings of the villa are located on flat plateaus
with dimensions of about 4–5 ha, and are supported laterally by walls with counterforts and
niches (Figure 2). The lower terrace to the villa
has a rectangular dimension 105 m ð 35 m, and it
is supported in the south by walls with counterforts and in the north by the walls with niches.
The central area of this floor was probably occupied by a garden (viridarium), with an external
portico (Figure 2).
On the west corner of this lower terrace there
are some buildings open to the public at the
entrance to the villa (the triclinium, atrium and
nymphaeum structures), which have undergone
excavations from 1955 to 1985. The upper level
of the villa is supported by walls over 200 m
in length.
The Soprintendenza Archeologica per il Lazio
started a new archaeological project in 1999
aiming to extend the research of 1955–1985 and to
rescue this very important historical monument
(Fiore and Mari, 1999).
Geological and morphological
outline of the area
Geologically the site is characterized by limestone
formations of Miocene age with a thickness of
about 230 m. This formation is subject to karstic
Copyright  2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
erosion processes, which are exemplified by
extensive fracturing (Lupia Palmieri and Zuppi
1977). The morphology of the area is strongly
influenced by tectonics, which have created a
consistently NW–SE trending fracture and fault
system across the region.
The most important elements of the landscape
associated with the karst erosion are dolina, lapiez
and karren formation. Permeation of the area
has been facilitated by the difference in height
between the Altopiani area (high plateau) and
the sources of the Aniene River.
In the northeast section of the villa is a springsource that at present is fed by the Aniene River
and arrives at the villa through fractures of the
Miocene limestone basement. In this area a large
rectangular cistern built in the Roman period is
still present.
The GPR survey
Data processing and visualization
The increasing necessity for detailed threedimensional resolution of the shallow depth
structures makes GPR one of the most important
remote-sensing tools. The advantages of threedimensional GPR surveying are documented
with regard to mapping geological features (Grasmueck, 1996; Sigurdsson and Overgaard, 1998),
of detecting antipersonnel mines (Zanzi and
Archaeol. Prospect. 10, 1–25 (2003)
4
Valle, 1999) and archaeological investigations,
where the greater horizontal and vertical resolution is required (Malagodi et al., 1996; Conyers
and Goodman, 1997; Leckebush, 2000; Tomizawa
et al., 2000). High-resolution acquisition techniques, using a submetre profile spacing interval
have been applied successfully in locating subsurface archaeological structures (Goodman et al.,
1995; Malagodi et al., 1996; Pipan et al., 1996,
1999, 2001; Basile et al., 2000), and also to image
large-scale archaeological features (Archaeological Prospection, 1999, 2001; Edwards et al., 2000;
Kamei et al., 2000; Nishimura and Goodman,
2000; Piro et al., 2001).
One of the most useful representations of
GPR data sets collected along closely spaced
parallel profiles is to display the data in horizontal maps of recorded reflection amplitudes.
These maps, referred to as time-slice amplitude maps, allow easy visualization of the location, depth, size and shape of radar anomalies
buried in the ground. The maps can be created at various reflection time levels within a
data set to show radar structures at a specified
time (depth) across a surveyed site. Mapping
the reflected radar energy can help to create
useful information that can sometimes mirror
the general archaeological site plan obtained
from invasive excavation (Goodman et al., 1995;
Malagodi et al., 1996; Conyers and Goodman,
1997; Piro et al., 2000). In this case the GPR
result lines out the general layout of the villa
comparable to the map produced from invasive
excavation.
The raw reflection data acquired by GPR is
nothing more than a collection of many individual
traces along two-dimensional transects within a
grid. Each of those reflection traces contains a
series of waves that vary in amplitude depending
on the amount and intensity of energy reflection
that occurred at buried interfaces. When these
traces are plotted sequentially in standard twodimensional profiles, the specific amplitudes
within individual traces that contain important
reflection information are usually difficult to
visualize and interpret. In areas where the
stratigraphy is complex and buried features
are difficult to discern, amplitude time-slice
analysis is one of the most efficient processes
that can be applied to the raw data to extract
Copyright  2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
S. Piro, D. Goodman and Y. Nishimura
the three-dimensional shapes of buried remains
(Malagodi et al., 1996; Zanzi et al., 1999; Piro et al.,
2001).
Owing to local velocity changes, a time-slice
map made across a constant-level time window,
will not represent a level slice in terms of depth
in the ground. Horizontal time slices therefore
must be considered only as approximate depth
slices. Without very detailed velocity control
throughout a grid, it is impossible to construct
perfectly horizontal depth slices (Malagodi et al.,
1996; Leckebusch, 2000).
To compute horizontal time slices, the software used compares amplitude variations within
traces that were recorded within a defined time
window. When this is done, both positive and
negative amplitudes of reflections are compared
with the norm of all amplitudes within that
window. No differentiation is made between
positive or negative amplitudes in this analysis,
only the magnitude of amplitude deviation from
the norm. Low-amplitude variations within any
one slice denote little subsurface reflection, and
therefore indicate the presence of fairly homogeneous material. High amplitudes indicate significant subsurface discontinuities, layer interfaces
or buried archaeological structures. Finally data
are interpolated and gridded on a regular mesh
(Malagodi et al., 1996; Conyers and Goodman,
1997; Basile et al., 2000).
A high to low amplitude scale is normally
presented as part of the legend of each map, but
without specific units because, in GPR, reflected
wave amplitudes are usually arbitrary.
Instrument configuration and measurement
parameters
The GPR surveys were performed in November
1999, May 2000 and May 2001, in the areas A–G
indicated in Figure 3. For the measurements a
GSSI SIR 10AC , equipped with a 300 and 500 MHz
bistatic antenna with constant offset, was used.
Single-fold exploratory profiles were first carried out at the site with the following objectives:
(i)
(ii)
(iii)
(iv)
preliminary identification of the targets;
calibration of the instrument;
selection of the optimum frequency antenna;
analysis of the subsurface response as a
function of the orientation of the profiles.
Archaeol. Prospect. 10, 1–25 (2003)
Emperor Traiano’s Villa
5
Figure 3. Traiano’s Villa (Altopiani di Arcinazzo). Location of the investigated areas A–G. The shapes of the areas are schematic.
The first GPR survey was concentrated on the
upper terraces of the site (Figure 3, area A), in
the east part of the area. Adjacent profiles at
the site were collected alternatively in reversed
and unreversed directions across the survey
Copyright  2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
grids. The horizontal spacing between parallel
profiles at the site was 0.5 m. Radar reflections
along the transects were recorded continuously
across the ground at 80 scan s1 , with a stack D 4.
The gain control was manually adjusted to be
Archaeol. Prospect. 10, 1–25 (2003)
6
more effective. Along each profile, markers were
spaced every 1 m to provide spatial reference. The
data were later corrected for a variation in speed
to constant 30 scans m1 (or 1 scan approximately
0.03 m).
All radar reflections within the 75 ns (two-way
travel time) time window were recorded digitally
in the field as 8 bit data and 512 samples per
radar scan.
We had obtained a nominal microwave velocity
of about 6 to 7 cm ns1 using an experimental
profile carried out at a corresponding site where
the archaeologists know the depth of a wall.
The survey was carried out within a block measuring 60 m (west–east) by 220 m (south–north).
This area was investigated using the two 300
and 500 MHz antennae. The profiles collected
with 300 MHz antenna were similar to the higher
horizontal resolution obtained with the 500 MHz
antenna. In this paper we present only the results
related to this latter antenna.
The second GPR survey investigated the lower
floor, Figure 3, area B. The same measuring
parameters, within a 75 ns (two-way travel time)
time window were adopted. The survey was
carried out within a block measuring 71 m
(west–east) by 30 m (south–north).
The third GPR survey investigated the upper
floor, Figure 3, area C, in the west area of this
terrace. The same measuring parameters, within
a 105 ns (two-way travel time) time window
were adopted. The survey was carried out within
an area measuring 120 m (west–east) by 85 m
(south–north).
The fourth GPR survey investigated the upper
floor, Figure 3, areas E–G, in the western portion
relative to the survey of area C. The same
measuring parameters, within a 75 ns (two-way
travel time) time window were adopted. The
survey was carried out within three different
blocks; block E with dimension 37 m (east–west)
by 30 m (south–north); block F with dimension
40 m (east–west) by 30 m (south–north) and
block G with dimension 70 m (east–west) by 50 m
(south–north).
Finally, a GPS survey, using a D-GPS Leica 520
in differential configuration, was made with the
aim of positioning all the areas investigated and
to orientate these maps with respect to the known
excavated structures of the villa.
Copyright  2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
S. Piro, D. Goodman and Y. Nishimura
Data elaboration and representation
Following corrections for topographical variations, time-slice analysis was applied to all the
grids surveyed at the Villa of Traiano. For area
A, time slices were generated at 5 ns intervals, for
area C the time slices were computed at a thicker
time window of 9 ns, whereas for areas E–G the
time slices were generated at 4 ns intervals. The
time-slice data sets were generated by spatially
averaging the squared amplitude of radar reflections in the horizontal as well as the vertical
directions. Horizontal averaging included creating spatial averages every 0.5 m along the radar
transects. The data were gridded using a Kriging algorithm that included a search of all data
within a 1.0 m radius of the desired point to be
interpolated on the grid. Thresholding and data
transforms were used to enhance various features
detected on the time-scale maps.
In Figures 4–6 several time slices (10–15, 25–30
and 50–55 ns) are shown for area A. On the
10–15 ns time-slice map (estimated depth 0.3 to
0.45 m) many anomalies, attributable to known
structures, are visible. The clearest results were
obtained at the 25–30 ns (0.70–0.90 m) to the
50–55 ns (1.5–1.7 m) time slices, in which the
location of many walls, having different shapes,
size and orientation could be clearly imaged.
This area is characterized by the presence of
many rooms, halls, corridors, exedrae and baths
associated with the private areas of the villa.
Several mushroom shaped anomalies are seen
which are believed to be dipping pools in the
bath house.
Figures 7–9 are time slices of the central section
of the upper terrace of the villa (area C). On the
8–15 ns time-slice map (0.25–0.45 m) the area is
characterized by the presence of two particular
structures. The westernmost features show an
oval-shaped structure that has been interpreted
by the archaeologists as a fish-pond. Below this
structure, square-shaped rooms become visible.
The large structure, on the easternmost side of this
area, shows a very large complex characterized
by large rectangular rooms and corridors.
Figures 10–12 are time slices of the western
part (area E) of the upper terrace of the villa. This
area is characterized by the presence of a large
complex formed by rectangular rooms.
Archaeol. Prospect. 10, 1–25 (2003)
Copyright  2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
116
96
116
96
20
40
5 - 10 ns
60 M
76
96
116
136
156
176
196
216
20
40
10 - 15 ns
60 M
Figure 4. Traiano’s Villa, area A. Time slices obtained in the time window 0–20 ns (twt, two-way travel time).
76
136
136
60 M
156
156
40
176
176
20
196
196
76
216
216
0 - 5 ns
76
96
116
136
156
176
196
216
20
40
15 - 20 ns
60 M
Min
Max
Emperor Traiano’s Villa
7
Archaeol. Prospect. 10, 1–25 (2003)
Copyright  2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
136
116
96
76
136
116
96
76
20
40
25 - 30 ns
60 M
116
96
116
96
76
136
136
60 M
156
156
40
176
176
20
196
196
76
216
216
30 - 35 ns
Figure 5. Traiano’s Villa, area A. Time slices obtained in the time window 20–40 ns (twt).
156
156
60 M
176
176
40
196
196
20
216
216
20 - 25 ns
20
40
35 - 40 ns
60 M
8
S. Piro, D. Goodman and Y. Nishimura
Archaeol. Prospect. 10, 1–25 (2003)
Emperor Traiano’s Villa
9
40 - 45 ns
45 - 50 ns
50 - 55 ns
216
216
216
196
196
196
176
176
176
156
156
156
136
136
136
116
116
116
96
96
96
76
76
20
40
60 M
76
20
40
60 M
20
40
60 M
Figure 6. Traiano’s Villa, area A. Time slices obtained in the time window 40–55 ns (twt).
Figures 13–15 are time slices of the western
part (area F) of the upper terrace of the villa.
This area is characterized by the presence of long
rectangular structures in which many squareshaped rooms are visible. These structures are
visible till the maximum investigated time level
of 70 ns (more than 2.5 m in depth), which
has been interpreted by the archaeologists as a
criptoporticus.
Figures 16–19 are time slices of the western
part (area G) of the upper terrace of the villa. This
area is characterized by the presence of many
anomalies attributable to known structures. The
clearest results were obtained at the slices in the
time window 30–45 ns, in which the location
of many walls having different shapes, size
and orientation could be identified. This area
is characterized by the presence of many rooms,
halls and corridors.
Copyright  2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
The magnetic survey
The magnetic method is frequently used in
archaeology because it can provide very useful information about the presence of ancient
remains of anthropogenic origin with high susceptibility contrast against the hosting ground,
and the possible characterization of the material of those structures (Weymouth, 1986; Wynn,
1986). Therefore the aim of the gradiometric survey was to add more information about the
characterization of the sought for remains.
The measurements were carried out, using the
Geoscan FM36 fluxgate gradiometer, in area A,
in the upper terrace of the villa (Figure 3). This
instrument measures the vertical gradient of the
z magnetic component with a fixed intersensors
vertical spacing of 0.5 m. During the survey
the bottom sensor was used at a constant
Archaeol. Prospect. 10, 1–25 (2003)
10
S. Piro, D. Goodman and Y. Nishimura
0 - 8 ns
8 - 15 ns
64
64
44
44
24
24
4
4
-16
-16
-8
12
15 - 23 ns
32
52
72
92
112 M
64
64
44
44
24
24
4
4
-16
-8
12
23 - 31 ns
32
52
72
92
112 M
-8
12
32
52
72
92
112 M
-16
-8
12
32
52
72
92
112 M
Figure 7. Traiano’s Villa, area C. Time slices obtained in the time window 0–31 ns (twt).
height (0.3 m) from the soil. A total of 10 000
measurements, in a 0.5 ð 0.5 m regular grid, were
taken in this area.
After the usual preprocessing, such as despiking, filtering and re-ranging (Brizzolari et al., 1992;
Piro, 1996) the results have been represented as
a greyscale contour map of the residual values of the gradient of the z component for the
25 assembled squares (Figure 20). The analysis
of this map shows that the area is characterized by many dipolar anomalies in a range of
30, C24 nT m1 .
The gradiometric contour map in Figure 20
clearly shows the existence of three groups of
dipolar anomalies spatially organized as pseudolinear structures or semicircular structures. From
the comparison of the gradiometric map and
GPR time-slice (Figure 20) it is possible to verify the good match between these two methods
(see the location and extension of the anomalies
(a)); for the two mushroom-shaped anomalies, b1
Copyright  2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
and b2, there are some differences. The magnetic
anomaly b1 overlaps only half the semicircular
body defined by the GPR survey. This could
be attributable to the facing wall being made of
bricks for only half its structure.
Conclusions
Comparison of the results of the two methods
used shows that each single method concurs
to provide the overall picture of the archaeological structures identified. From the analysis
of Figures 6 and 20, the most significant result
of the magnetic survey was that the anomalies obtained corresponding to the mushroom
shaped GPR anomalies present some differences.
The larger structure (b2), defined by with the
FDM method, corresponds to the same anomaly
located with the GPR method. This could be
interpreted as walls covered by bricks, which
Archaeol. Prospect. 10, 1–25 (2003)
92
112 M
Copyright  2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
32
52
72
92
112 M
-8
-8
Figure 8. Traiano’s Villa, area C. Time slices obtained in the time window 31–62 ns (twt).
-16
-16
12
4
4
-8
24
44
44
24
64
64
46 - 54 ns
-16
72
-16
52
4
4
32
24
24
12
44
44
-8
64
64
31 - 38 ns
12
54 - 62 ns
12
38- 46 ns
32
32
52
52
72
72
92
92
112 M
112 M
Emperor Traiano’s Villa
11
Archaeol. Prospect. 10, 1–25 (2003)
92
112 M
Copyright  2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
32
52
72
92
112 M
4
-16
4
-16
-8
-8
12
85 - 92 ns
12
69 - 77 ns
Figure 9. Traiano’s Villa, area C. Time slices obtained in the time window 62–92 ns (twt).
24
24
12
44
44
-8
64
64
77 - 85 ns
-16
72
-16
52
4
4
32
24
24
12
44
44
-8
64
64
62 - 69 ns
32
32
52
52
72
72
92
92
112 M
112 M
12
S. Piro, D. Goodman and Y. Nishimura
Archaeol. Prospect. 10, 1–25 (2003)
30 M
0
Copyright  2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
20
30 M
0
10
20
30 M
Figure 10. Traiano’s Villa, area E. Time slices obtained in the time window 0–22 ns (twt).
-5
30 M
-5
20
-5
10
5
5
5
0
15
15
15
25
25
25
11 - 15 ns
15 - 19 ns
10
-5
20
-5
10
-5
0
5
5
5
15
15
15
25
25
4 - 8 ns
25
0 - 4 ns
0
0
19 - 22 ns
8 - 11 ns
10
10
20
20
30 M
30 M
Emperor Traiano’s Villa
13
Archaeol. Prospect. 10, 1–25 (2003)
10
10
20
20
30 M
Copyright  2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
10
20
30 M
30 M
Figure 11. Traiano’s Villa, area E. Time slices obtained in the time window 22–45 ns (twt).
-5
0
-5
-5
0
5
15
25
5
15
15
38 - 41 ns
5
25
25
34 - 38 ns
-5
0
-5
30 M
-5
20
5
5
5
10
15
15
15
0
25
25
26 - 30 ns
25
22 - 26 ns
0
41 - 45 ns
0
30 - 34 ns
10
10
20
20
30 M
30 M
14
S. Piro, D. Goodman and Y. Nishimura
Archaeol. Prospect. 10, 1–25 (2003)
A
N
C
G
A
F
E
0
50
100 Meters
B
Plate 1. Traiano’s Villa. Planimetric vision of all individuated archaeological features, located and orientated with respect to
the known excavated portion of the villa.
Copyright  2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Archaeol. Prospect. 10, (2003)
0
Copyright  2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
20
30 M
10
20
30 M
-5
-5
0
10
20
Figure 12. Traiano’s Villa, area E. Time slices obtained in the time window 45–68 ns (twt).
5
5
0
30 M
15
15
15
-5
5
25
25
25
56 - 60 ns
60 - 64 ns
10
-5
30 M
-5
20
-5
10
5
5
5
0
15
15
15
25
25
49 - 53 ns
25
45 - 49 ns
0
0
64 - 68 ns
53 - 56 ns
10
10
20
20
30 M
30 M
Emperor Traiano’s Villa
15
Archaeol. Prospect. 10, 1–25 (2003)
Copyright  2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
10
20
30
40 M
30
40 M
0
10
15 - 19 ns
10
4 - 8 ns
20
20
Figure 13. Traiano’s Villa, area F. Time slices obtained in the time window 0–22 ns (twt).
0
20
0
10
10
10
0
20
0
20
0
30
11 - 15 ns
0
30
0
10
20
20
10
30
0 - 4 ns
30
30
30
40 M
40 M
0
10
20
30
0
0
0
10
20
30
10
19 - 22 ns
10
8 - 11 ns
20
20
30
30
40 M
40 M
16
S. Piro, D. Goodman and Y. Nishimura
Archaeol. Prospect. 10, 1–25 (2003)
20
30
40 M
Copyright  2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
10
20
30
40 M
30
40 M
10
20
Figure 14. Traiano’s Villa, area F. Time slices obtained in the time window 22–45 ns (twt).
0
30
40 M
0
20
0
10
0
0
10
10
30
10
38 - 41 ns
20
30
20
34 - 38 ns
0
20
30
0
0
10
0
0
10
10
30
10
26 - 30 ns
20
30
20
22 - 26 ns
20
30
0
41 - 45 ns
0
30 - 34 ns
10
10
20
20
30
30
40 M
40 M
Emperor Traiano’s Villa
17
Archaeol. Prospect. 10, 1–25 (2003)
30
40 M
Copyright  2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
10
20
30
40 M
30
40 M
10
20
Figure 15. Traiano’s Villa, area F. Time slices obtained in the time window 45–68 ns (twt).
0
30
40 M
0
20
0
10
0
0
10
10
30
10
60 - 64 ns
20
30
20
56 - 60 ns
20
30
0
0
20
0
10
0
0
10
20
30
10
49 - 53 ns
10
30
20
45 - 49 ns
20
30
0
64 - 68 ns
0
53 - 56 ns
10
10
20
20
30
30
40 M
40 M
18
S. Piro, D. Goodman and Y. Nishimura
Archaeol. Prospect. 10, 1–25 (2003)
Copyright  2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
60
70 M
10
20
30
40
50
60
70 M
0
0
Figure 16. Traiano’s Villa, area G. Time slices obtained in the time window 0–15 ns (twt).
10
10
0
20
30
30
20
40
40
8 - 11 ns
50
0
40
0
30
10
10
20
20
20
10
30
30
0
40
40
0 - 4 ns
0
11 - 15 ns
0
4 - 8 ns
10
10
20
20
30
30
40
40
50
50
60
60
70 M
70 M
Emperor Traiano’s Villa
19
Archaeol. Prospect. 10, 1–25 (2003)
50
60
70 M
Copyright  2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
20
30
40
50
60
70 M
0
0
0
26 - 30 ns
0
19 - 22 ns
Figure 17. Traiano’s Villa, area G. Time slices obtained in the time window 15–30 ns (twt).
10
10
0
20
30
30
20
40
40
22 - 26 ns
10
0
40
0
30
10
10
20
20
20
10
30
30
0
40
40
15 - 19 ns
10
10
20
20
30
30
40
40
50
50
60
60
70 M
70 M
20
S. Piro, D. Goodman and Y. Nishimura
Archaeol. Prospect. 10, 1–25 (2003)
50
60
70 M
Copyright  2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
20
30
40
50
60
70 M
0
0
0
41 - 45 ns
0
34 - 38 ns
Figure 18. Traiano’s Villa, area G. Time slices obtained in the time window 30–45 ns (twt).
10
10
0
20
30
30
20
40
40
38 - 41 ns
10
0
40
0
30
10
10
20
20
20
10
30
30
0
40
40
30 - 34 ns
10
10
20
20
30
30
40
40
50
50
60
60
70 M
70 M
Emperor Traiano’s Villa
21
Archaeol. Prospect. 10, 1–25 (2003)
50
60
70 M
Copyright  2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
10
20
30
40
50
60
70 M
0
0
0
56 - 60 ns
0
49 - 53 ns
Figure 19. Traiano’s Villa, area G. Time slices obtained in the time window 45–60 ns (twt).
10
10
0
20
30
30
20
40
40
53 - 56 ns
0
40
0
30
10
10
20
20
20
10
30
30
0
40
40
45 - 49 ns
10
10
20
20
30
30
40
40
50
50
60
60
70 M
70 M
22
S. Piro, D. Goodman and Y. Nishimura
Archaeol. Prospect. 10, 1–25 (2003)
Emperor Traiano’s Villa
23
196
(a)
70
24
180
21
18
15
12
170
9
m
6
3
160
0
-3
-6
150
-9
-12
-15
-18
140
-21
-24
-27
130
-30
(a)
176
(b1)
(b1)
156
136
(b2)
(b2)
nT/m
120
116
110
100
96
90
80
76
20
70
30
40
50
60
Gradiometric contour map
m
40
60 M
GPR time slice
Figure 20. Traiano’s Villa, area A. Contour map of the residual values of the gradient z component. Contour interval nT m1 ;
data range 30, C24 nT m1 . Comparison between the magnetic map and the GPR time slice related to the same area
investigated.
generate a high susceptibility contrast with the
ground. The smaller structure (b1) located by the
GPR method does not correspond with the magnetic anomaly obtained. This could be interpreted
as walls being covered with bricks for only half
its structure.
Plate 1 shows the position and orientation
of GPR time-slice maps (after the GPS) with
respect to the excavated portion of the villa.
This figure provided the archaeologists with a
general impression of the individual structures
and aided preliminary correlation between the
different known portions of the villa.
The results from the GPR survey provided
subsurface images of Traiano’s villa. From the
Copyright  2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
time slices obtained it is possible to interpret
structures in the east portion of the area investigated to be related to private domus or palatium
of the villa. A group of quadrangular rooms, connected to each other and crossed by corridors,
and semi-circular rooms were located with high
resolution. These last rooms were interpreted as
thermal rooms (balnea). In the west portion of
the area, an elliptical shaped structure was interpreted by the archaeologists as a fish-pond; below
this structure other squared rooms, with smaller
dimensions, are visible. Other structures, such as
a long rectangular corridor that contains many
square-shaped rooms has been interpreted as a
criptoporticus.
Archaeol. Prospect. 10, 1–25 (2003)
24
The results of this study show that GPR is very
effective in mapping wall remains and floors of
archaeological structures, and the FDM method
helped to confirm the presence of individual
archaeological structures and to characterize the
covering material of some walls. The location,
depth, size and general structure of the buried
buildings were effectively estimated from this
non-destructive integrated geophysical method.
The construction of time slices helps to visualize the plan view of radar reflections easily, and
is an essential data process for a complete understanding of the normally difficult-to-interpret
single line profiles.
The archaeologist should not be a passive
partner in this powerful data-processing step,
but must actively participate in determining
the processing parameters and visual format
of the final output. Their production requires
some prior knowledge of site conditions such
as past seismic disturbances and the types and
dimensions of the features to be resolved. It also
can be very informative to compare on a single
map the location of amplitude anomalies from
many horizontal or subhorizontal slices in the
ground. In this way the orientation, thickness
and relative amplitudes of anomalies are visible
in three dimensions.
Acknowledgements
The Authors are very grateful to M. G. Fiore
and Z. Mari (Soprintendenza Archeologica per il
Lazio) for their fruitful collaboration, to Daniele
Verrecchia (ITABC-CNR) for the technical support during the surveys and to Roberto Gabrielli
(ITABC-CNR) for the GPS acquisition and elaboration. All the research was supported financially
by the Soprintendenza Archeologica per il Lazio
(Ministery of Cultural Heritage, Italy).
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