Pompeii – Campania

April 2009

The geophysical survey was carried out at the request of Dr Steven Ellis of the University of Cincinnati as part of an extensive archaeological investigation of a complete city block in ancient Pompeii, by the
the Pompeii Archaeological Research Project: Porta Stabia (PARP:PS).

The survey was carried out by a joint team from the British School at Rome (BSR) and the Archaeological Prospection Services of Southampton (APSS). Ground Penetrating Radar was chosen as the geophysical technique most appropriate for this survey following an assessment of the site in the summer of 2008.

GPR Survey in VIII.7.1-15, Pompeii

The survey was successful in identifying specific anomalies likely to be buried walls, tanks, and drains in addition to areas with high concentrations of anomalies whether identifiable or not. These results were able to supplement prior excavation in the insula, for instance confirming the location of a drain passing from an excavated room to the via Stabia, widening the understanding of the structural development in the area. Although in some areas there were fewer anomalies, or fewer identifiable anomalies, this will still assist future excavation planning.


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
E-Mail: S.A.Hay@soton.ac.uk