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Archaeological Support Services

The Archaeology Department at the British School at Rome offers a range of services to support commercial and academic archaeology in Italy and the Mediterranean.

Services offered

1. Archaeological survey

The department has an outstanding record for undertaking both commercial and research-based geophysics and topographical surveys at a range of sites of all periods in Italy and the western Mediterranean. A team of geophysicists work with state of the art equipment in close collaboration with the Archaeological Prospection Services of Southampton University (APSS).

Our equipment includes:

  • Magnetometry (Bartington Grad601)
  • Resistivity (Geoscan RM15)
  • Electrical Resistance Tomography (Allied Tiger- 64 Probe)
  • Ground Penetrating Radar (GSSI Sir 3000 with 400Mhz antenna)
  • Topographic survey (Leica GPS and Total Stations)

We hope to provide an enhanced data visualization service in the near future.

Please note: The department does not loan geophysical or topographical survey equipment.

2. GIS and Mapping services

The department has a number of high-specification work stations for the creation of GIS spatial databases that can be used as a highly cost-effective framework for the analysis and interpretation of archaeological field surveys and excavations. We can also help with access to digital cartography held by government organizations in Rome.

3. Excavation support

Archaeological work in Italy, whether site or museum-based, cannot be undertaken without the support of the particular Soprintendenza (Superintendency) responsible for the site and the permission of the Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali.

The Ministero recognizes the British School at Rome as the principal conduit for British applications of this kind. Our recommended Excavation Support service will:

  • arrange an initial contact with the Soprintendenza where the fieldwork/museum study would take place
  • prepare your application for a permit (concessione) to the Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali to undertake fieldwork – usually required by November of the year before the work is due to take place.

4. Other excavation support services

In exceptional situations the BSR can prepare the groundwork for the establishment of a formal agreement between an established research partner and an Italian archaeological authority (convenzione di collaborazione): longer notice is required for this.

Please note: All archaeological teams working in Italy must abide by Italian Health and Safety Laws and prepare a detailed Health and Safety Plan (Piano Operativo di Sicurezza) prior to the commencement of work. We can provide guidance however we cannot give legal advice on compliance.

5. Research space

The department is able to offer research space that includes work surfaces, computing peripherals (printers / scanners / plotters / DVD writers), wifi access and projection facilities, as well as secure external temporary storage for site-finds.

6. Access to comparative collections

The Archaeology Department of the BSR curates two very important bodies of archaeological material:

  • the John Ward-Perkins marble collection, comprising marble samples from quarries from across the Mediterranean
  • the South Etruria ceramics collection providing examples of all the ceramic types circulating in central Italy between c. 1000 BC and AD 1000.

The department has a recently relocated and updated its faunal remains collection, a valuable comparative resource for archaeological projects working in Italy.

7. Photographic service

The department offers to scholars and the interested general public access to a comprehensive array of photographs of archaeological sites in Rome and central Italy, that can be used subsequently in publications and lectures. This will complement the BSR’s historic Ashby archive of photographs of Rome. This service will draw upon its own collections, but would also undertake commissions for photographs of particular monuments and sites not currently held in its collections and advise on the procedure for obtaining photographs from museums.

8. Archaeological archive

The department has an extensive archaeological archive and is open for consultation on request and with the permission of the Director.