Portus Project

Sentinum, Marche

June 2003

The site of Sentinum is an archaeological park located to the south of the modern town of Sassoferrato in Marche, with the Apennines rising to the west.

In June and July 2003, a geophysical survey took place here to investigate the nature of the Roman town. The work was initiated by Dott. Maura Medri and carried out as part of a collaborative study with the Dipartmento di Archeologia e Filologia Classica at the University di Genova and undertaken by the Archaeological Prospection Services of Southampton (APSS), in collaboration with the British School at Rome. The aim of the survey was to locate the remains of sub-surface archaeological features within the confines of the town walls, and in particular, to see whether the layout of the town and its road network could be mapped.

Magnetometer survey at Sentinum

The results from the magnetometer survey were successful in locating and mapping a large number of archaeological features associated with the buried remains of the Roman town of Sentinum. The layout of this part of the town clearly emerges from the survey results and both buildings and the street grid were identified. The first area of survey was dominated by the discovery of the Roman Forum with at least two decumani leading to the forum from the west. Buildings were discovered flanking the forum, and so are thought to be civic or public buildings, with shop structures along the east side. In the second area surveyed, a clear plan of the road network was established with a distinct prevalence of east-west roads and an unusual absence of major north-south communication. Many buildings were located, their function being humble dwellings, public houses, or industrial in nature.


S. Hay, 2004, Sentinum: Geophysical survey report. April 2004. Unpublished report.
S. Hay, 2008, Dati delle prospezioni magnetometriche, in M. Medri (ed.), Sentinum. Ricerche in corso I, Roma: 60-67.