British researchers map underground Roman city without digging

June 11, 2020

British archaeologists mapped an entire underground Roman city without having to break out their shovels.

The team of archaeologists from the University of Cambridge and Ghent University fully mapped the ancient Roman city of Falerii Novi by using advanced ground penetrating radar small enough to be towed by a small all-terrain vehicle.

The team was able to create images of parts of the underground city located 50 km north of Rome by bouncing radio waves off objects and using the echo to build a picture at different depths.

“The astonishing level of detail which we have achieved at Falerii Novi, and the surprising features that GPR has revealed, suggest that this type of survey could transform the way archaeologists investigate urban sites, as total entities,” said Cambridge professor Martin Millet.

The researchers said it will take a while to analyze all the data gathered with the radar, as it takes about 20 hours to fully document about a single hectare, or about 2.5 acres.

British researchers map underground Roman city without digging