Colle Oppio, Rome

March 2000

In March 2000, the director of the British School at Rome, Professor Andrew Wallace-Hadrill, and the Soprintendenza and Comune di Roma, commissioned a geophysical survey over part of the Colle Oppio in the centre of Rome.

The trial resistivity survey was partially successful in identifying potential archaeological structures associated with the Baths of Trajan. Results were more successful on the ground to the south and east areas of the park, where the depth of archaeological deposits is significantly less than across the more elevated areas of the park to the north.

The lack of any recognisable archaeological features in the survey results in the north and north east of the park suggest that resistivity, certainly utilising a twin prove array, would not be an effective method of mapping sub-surface remains of the Trajanic baths across the entire archaeological park.


• G. Caruso, R. Volpe, 1992, Colle Oppio, Roma.

• G. Caruso, R. Volpe, 1994, Terme di Traiano. Scavi nel criptoportico nordoccidentale, in Archeologia Laziale XII: 181-184.

• G. Caruso, R. Volpe, 2000, Preesistenze e persistenze delle Terme di Traiano, in E. Fentress (ed.), Romanization and the City: Creation, Transformations, and Failures, (JRA Suppl. 38): 42-56.

• E. La Rocca, 2000, L’affresco con veduta di città dal Colle Oppio, in E. Fentress (ed.), Romanization and the City: Creation, Transformations, and Failures, (JRA Suppl. 38): 57-71.

• R. Volpe, 2000, Paesaggi urbani tra Oppio e Fagutal, in MEFRA 112: 511-556.

• R. Volpe, 2002, Un antico giornale di cantiere dalle Terme di Traiano, in RM, 109: 377-394.

• R. Volpe, c.s., Le iscrizioni parietali dipinte delle Terme di Traiano sul Colle Oppio, in Atti della Giornata di studio Voci inaspettate. Esperienze di studio sui graffiti antichi (7 marzo 2003).

Fasti Online Entry


Geophysical Techniques: further information


Topgraphical Survey

Resistance and Tomography

Ground Penetrating Radar

Geophysics in Forma Urbis

Forma Urbis (Nov 2012) was dedicated to the work of the BSR and featured an article 'Citta e Territori' discussing the role of geophysics in understanding Roman urbanscapes and their territories.

Click here to read the article in English

Click here to read the article in Italian.

For further information about the archaeological survey services offered by the British School at Rome and APSS, please contact:

Sophie Hay
Geophysical Researcher
Archaeological Prospection Services of Southampton (APSS)
The British School at Rome
Via Gramsci, 61
Tel: +39 (0)6 326 49368
Fax: +39 (0)6 322 1201