High-Tech Tools Yield Roman Discovery

Geophysical applications on environmental investigation, mineral prospecting, engineering, archaeology, forensics, hydrology...
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High-Tech Tools Yield Roman Discovery

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A team of Duke scholars and students spent this summer at two historic sites in Italy and made significant discoveries. The team, based in part in the dig@lab, a digital laboratory run by Maurizio Forte, a professor of classical studies and art, art history and visual studies, discovered two Roman Empire-era facilities, a public building and an amphitheater.

The project team included Duke faculty members Bill Seaman, David Johnson, Todd Berreth and Regis Kopper, as well as Nevio Danelon, a post-doctoral fellow; Katherine McKusker, PhD student; Benedict Parfit, an undergraduate student. Everette Newton, who works with Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment’s marine lab, piloted the drone used in the excavation. The team also included scholars from other universities.

Sponsored by the National Geographic Society/Waitt Grants Program and Duke’s Bass Connections, the team used drones, virtual reality 3D modeling and other high-tech tools at both sites. In Vulci, this summer’s discovery came the old-fashioned way – through excavation. At Reggio Emilia, the “A-Ha” moment came courtesy of newer technology, as drones took overhead images examined using ground-penetrating radar to spot layers of hidden civilizations beneath the surface.
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http://today.duke.edu/2016/07/italydiscoveries

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