Integrating Geophysical and Photographic Data to Visualize the Quarried Structures of the Roman Town of Bassianae


Large parts of the urban layout of the abandoned Roman town of Bassianae (in present-day Serbia) are still discernible on the surface today due to the deliberate and targeted quarrying of the Roman foundations. In 2014, all of the town’s intramural (and some extramural) areas were surveyed using aerial photography, ground-penetrating radar, and magnetometry to analyze the site’s topography and to map remaining buried structures. The surveys showed a strong agreement between the digital surface model derived from the aerial photographs and the geophysical prospection data. However, many structures could only be detected by one method, underlining the benefits of a complementary archaeological prospection approach using multiple methods. This article presents the results of the extensive surveys and their comprehensive integrative interpretation, discussing Bassianae’s ground plan and urban infrastructure. Starting with an overview of this Roman town’s research history, we present the details of the triple prospection approach, followed by the processing, integrative analysis, and interpretation of the acquired data sets. Finally, this newly gained information is contrasted with a plan of Roman Bassianae compiled in 1935.

Remote Sensing