The site of the Roman town of Atella lies some 20 kilometres to the south-west of Caserta, in the vicinity of the modern town of Orto di Atella.
In mid-August 2006 a geophysical survey was undertaken on the behalf of the Comune di Sant’Arpino, who financed the project, and the Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici delle Province di Napoli e Caserta, with the purpose of supporting a project for developing an archaeological park in the area of the ancient town.
Nick Schiavotiello (APSS) operating a Geoscan FM 36 at Atella
Little is known of the Roman town, now only partially visible as the modern city directly overlays the site. However, a number of rich cemeteries, such as la necropolis sannitica, have been identified and the standing remains of a structure, probably part of the Roman bath complex, can still be seen.
The survey focused on an area of approximately 6 hectares, now largely abandoned or used for the cultivation and drying of tobacco. The aim of the survey was therefore to identify and define the area of the town and to assess its archaeological potential.
The results of this survey successfully revealed areas of activity associated with structural features, although the results were heavily disturbed by modern activity across the site. The magnetometer successfully mapped a series of features that would appear to be associated to the ancient city. The majority of these features appear to lie either parallel or perpendicular to the known road system within the city, and thus conforming to the presumed settlement layout. The survey should therefore aid to act as a fundamental guide to direct future direct investigations of this site.