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The work presented in this contribution forms part of the BREBEMI project, which was set up in response to a major motorway proposal (about 120 km in length) linking the towns of Brescia, Bergamo and Milan in northern Italy. Within this project, for the first time in Italy, a set of non‐invasive procedures is used systematically in order to reduce archaeological risk in advance of motorway construction. This innovative project relies on the methodical collection of information from historical and geographical documentary sources, along with geomorphological analysis, the examination of existing vertical aerial photography, the collection of new data through targeted aerial survey and oblique aerial photography, the acquisition of LiDAR data along the whole of the motorway route (160 km 2 at a resolution of 4 points m 2) and the systematic collection for very substantial areas of both magnetic (AMP) and geoelectrical (ARP) geophysical data – a total so far of 438 ha of AMP and ARP data (mesh 0.5 × 0.5 m and 0.5 × 0.08 m respectively). Test excavations are planned systematically to verify anomalies and the Superintendency for the Region of Lombardy is also initiating random trenching for a total of 5% of the surveyed area. A GIS platform for the project has been designed to manage and integrate all of the data at every stage of development (from data acquisition in the field to interpretation and field checking) as well as to demonstrate overall patterns and to create predictive models. The objectives of the project are to reduce as far as possible uncertainty about the presence of archaeological remains along the route and in particular to identify areas which should be protected from destruction because of the presence of either upstanding or buried archaeological remains. It is our belief that this project will lead to a great improvement in 'rescue' and 'preventive' archaeology, not only from technological development but also from a more consistent application of 'total archaeology' and a 'global' historical approach. Only then will it be possible to reduce the archaeological risk and maximize the archaeological returns from preventive and rescue archaeology.
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Archaeological Impact Assessment:
The BREBEMI Project (Italy)
STEFANO CAMPANA
1
*AND MICHEL DABAS
2
1
Landscape Archaeology and Remote Sensing Laboratory, Department of Archaeology and the History
of Arts, University of Siena, Siena, Italy
2
Geocarta, Paris
ABSTRACT The work presented in this contribution forms part of the BREBEMI project, which was set up in response to a
major motorway proposal (about 120 km in length) linking the towns of Brescia, Bergamo and Milan in northern
Italy. Within this project, for the rst time in Italy, a set of noninvasive procedures is used systematically in order to
reduce archaeological risk in advance of motorway construction. This innovative project relies on the methodical
collection of information from historical and geographical documentary sources, along with geomorphological
analysis, the examination of existing vertical aerial photography, the collection of new data through targeted aerial
survey and oblique aerial photography, the acquisition of LiDAR data along the whole of the motorway route
(160 km
2
at a resolution of 4 points m
2
) and the systematic collection for very substantial areas of both magnetic
(AMP) and geoelectrical (ARP) geophysical data a total so far of 438 ha of AMP and ARP d ata (mesh 0.5 × 0. 5 m
and 0.5 × 0.08 m respectively). Test excavations are planned systematically to verify anomalies and the
Superintendency for the Region of Lombardy is also initiating random trenching for a total of 5% of the surveyed
area. A GIS platform for the project has been designed to manage and integrate all of the data at every stage of
development (from data acquisition in the eld to interpretation and eld checking) as well as to demonstrate
overall patterns and to create predictive models. The objectives of the project are to reduce as far as possible
uncertainty about the presence of archaeological remains along the route and in particular to identify areas which
should be protected from destruction because of the presence of either upstanding or buried archaeological
remains. It is our belief that this project will lead to a great improvement in rescueand preventivearchaeology,
not only from technological development but also from a more consistent application of total archaeologyand a
globalhistorical approach. Only then will it be possible to reduce the archaeological risk and maximize the
archaeological returns from preventive and rescue archaeology. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Introduction
Rescue archaeology in Italy is synonymous with res-
cue excavation, giving rise to a vast number of small
scale testexcavations (RICCI A, 1996, 2006; Guzzo,
2000; Guermandi, 2001). It is only in the past ve years
that the scenario has begun to change to any sig-
nicant extent, thanks mainly to the work of a few
individual archaeologists and the establishment of
two ministerial commissions, one of which has draf-
ted a new domestic law on preventive archaeology,
obliging the initiators of every public construction
project, whether for buildings or for infrastructure
developments, to commission and present a report
setting out an archaeological impact assessment
(Carandini, 2008). Compiling this kind of report
involves three main steps:
(i) The collection of all known data from the
archaeological literature and from historical
cartography, along with placename and palaaeo-
morphological studies.
(ii) The analysis of vertical aerial photograph evi-
dence (without, unfortunately, any reference to
oblique photography fromexploratoryaerial
survey) and, when possible or potentially useful,
the collection and analysis of LiDAR data. In
some cases there is a requirement for more
intensive work on particular areas through such
methods as geophysical prospection or small
scale test excavation.
(iii) The mapping of archaeological risk, followed by
targeted test excavation or in some cases larger
* Correspondence to: S. Campana, Landscape Archaeology and Remote
Sensing Laboratory, Department of Archaeology and the History of
Arts, University of Siena, Siena, Italy. E-mail: campana@unisi.it
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Received 8 November 2010
Accepted 29 March 2011
Archaeological Prospection
Archaeol. Prospect. 18, 139148 (2011)
Published online 12 May 2011 in Wiley Online Library
(wileyonlinelibrary.com) DOI: 10.1002/arp.407
scale investigation through mechanical stripping
of the surface deposits.
The example presented in this paper formed part
of the BREBEMI project in northern Italy; BREBEMI
is an acronym for a motorway construction project
linking the cities of BREscia, BErgamo and MIlan
over a total distance of approximately 100 km. The
project was initiated before the new law on rescue
archaeology came into force and in this case the
Archaeological Superintendency of Lombardy, armed
with virtually unlimited power within its own region,
required the motorway contractors to carry out
excavation by surface strippingover the whole of
the area affected by the motorway construction.
Naturally, this approach made nonsense of the
contractorsnancial and logistical planning, increas-
ing the total cost of the project by a completely
unrealistic amount. The construction company there-
fore called on the writer and his colleagues at the
University of Siena to act as consultants in the design
of an alternative approach that might be acceptable
to the Superintendency.
Background: landscape, research design and
project team
The motorway is to be constructed through typical
landscape of the Po Valley, with its extremely at
morphology and sandandgravel soils, heavily af-
fected by intensive arable cultivation involving the
systematic use of heavygrade tractors and deep
ploughing over at least the last 60 years. The area also
has substantial concentrations of industrial and related
residential development (Figure 1).
For the rst time in Italy the requirements of the
new law provided an opportunity for systematic and
innovative use of a range of noninvasive techniques
in order to minimize the risk of archaeological
damage in advance of largescale motorway con-
struction. The project design thus envisaged the
systematic collection of historical and geographical
data and interpretation from documentary sources,
along with geomorphological studies, the analysis of
vertical historical aerial photographs, the initiation of
oblique aerial survey and LiDAR acquisition along
the whole of the motorway corridor. In some sections
this included a substantial buffer zone on either side.
Also included was the systematic collection of
geophysical data, both magnetic and geoelectrical,
across large and contiguous areas of between 200 and
750 ha respectively, building on an approach success-
fully tested in Italy, France and, above all, the UK
(Dabas, 1999a, b, 2009; Powlesland, 2006, 2009;
Campana and Piro, 2009). Systematic test excavations
were also planned to verify anomalies identied by
any or all of these techniques and, independently, the
regional Superintendency designed a pattern of
random test trenches amounting to a 5% sample of
the motorway corridor.
Within the BREBEMI project a GIS environment
was designed to manage and integrate the data
collected at all stages of the project, from data
acquisition in the eld to interpretation and eld
checking, so as to assess any signicant trends in the
data collected and to develop archaeological models.
The aim of the project was to reduce the degree of
uncertainty about the presence (or potential presence)
of archaeological remains by identifying areas that
ought not be subjected to disturbance by the
construction works in light of the demonstrated
Figure 1. General overview of the motorway route and outline of the landscape pattern (north to the top). This gure is available in colour online at
wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/arp.
140 S. Campana and M. Dabas
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Archaeol. Prospect. 18, 139148 (2011)
DOI: 10.1002/arp
presence of either surface or subsurface archaeologic-
al remains.
The Laboratory of Landscape Archaeology and
Remote Sensing already had experience in using each
of these survey methods but saw the BREBEMI project
as an extraordinary opportunity to add its weight to
an important culturechange in the theory and practice
of preventive and rescue archaeology in Italy. A
decision was therefore taken to involve some of the
most highly skilled and specialized companies, in-
stitutes and research workers from across Europe. The
Laboratory used Archeolandscapes Tech and Survey
Enterprise (ATS), a spinoff company of the University
of Siena, to act as project coordinator and to manage
the following activities:
(i) Aerial survey, in collaboration Klaus Leidorf, of
Luftbilddocumentazion from Germany, and
Chris Musson from the UK.
(ii) Interpretation and mapping of information from
vertical aerial photographs, by the Laboratorys
own staff.
(iii) LiDAR processing and interpretation in collab-
oration with Dominic Powlesland of the Land-
scape Research Centre and University of Leeds in
the UK.
(iv) Processing and interpretation of magnetic data,
again in collaboration with Powlesland.
(v) The collection and interpretation of geoelectrical
and magnetic data, by SoIng s.r.l. (Italy)
(vi) GIS and topographical survey, integrated archae-
ological data interpretation, selective ground
truthing and test excavation by ATS s.r.l.
(vii) The collection of information from historical and
geographical documentary sources was carried
out by the University of Bergamo under the
direction of Professor J. Schiavini, as were place
name and geomorphological studies.
Geophysical prospection involved the use of mag-
netic and geoelectrical instruments (respectively ARP
and AMP, Automatic Resistivity Proling© and Auto-
matic Magnetic Proling©) developed by Geocarta, a
French spinoff company of CNRS, the National Centre
for Scientic Research). Geocarta, under the scientic
direction of Michel Dabas, also exercised quality
control over the data collected and remained on call
to provide general assistance throughout the whole
process from eldwork to data processing and
interpretation (Dabas, 2009). The initial collection of
the data was undertaken by SoIng of Livorno, an
ofcial partner of Geocarta with longstanding experi-
ence in geophysical survey for environmental projects
(Figure 2).
Altogether, the project management involved the co
ordination of a team of about 25 research workers
from Tuscany, northern Italy, France, Germany and the
UK, carrying out a wide variety of interlinked work in
a very short period about 4 months or 80 working
days (Figure 3).
Figure 2. Geophysical instruments used during the survey. (Left) The Automatic Magnetic Proler (AMP© Geocarta), capable of recording up to
20 ha day
1
. (Right) The Automatic Resistivity Proler (ARP© Geocarta), capable of recording up to 4 ha day
1
. To increase productivity within the
project two ARP instruments were often used simultaneously. This gure is available in colour online at wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/arp.
141The BREBEMI Project (Italy)
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Archaeol. Prospect. 18, 139148 (2011)
DOI: 10.1002/arp
Results
Bearing in mind the large size and peculiar shape of
the survey area, this paper will concentrate for the
most part on a chosen sample area. We therefore
chose a sample representative of the landscape as a
whole in terms of known archaeological data,
geomorphological complexity, the availability of
geophysical and other survey data and ground
truthing. This sample, measuring about 20 km in
linear extent, lies between Caravaggio and Urago
dOglio, roughly bounded by the Rivers Oglio and
Serio. The research work itself can be divided into
two main steps: the collection of existing knowledge,
and the survey work in the eld.
The rst step involved the collection and entry
into a GIS environment of all the available
information about a 2kmwide buffer zone centred
on the motorway corridor, from archaeological sites
and nds to geomorphology and the evidence of
existing aerial photographs, etc. This involved the
collection of the following information and material
(Figure 4):
(i) Placename registers and historical maps, includ-
ing historical cadastral maps and the national
maps of the Istituto Geograco Militare (Univer-
sity of Bergamo CST).
(ii) The Archaeological Map of Lombardy, with
related updates (University of Bergamo CST).
(iii) Maps of springs, palaeoriver channels, uvial
ridges and uvial terraces (University of Bergamo
CST).
(iv) The interpretation and mapping of information
from historical and contemporary vertical aerial
photographs, principally the GAI series of 1954
and the CGR series of 2007 (LAP&T and the
University of Bergamo CST).
(v) New aerial prospection and aerial photography
along the motorway route in the spring and
summer of 2009 (ATS Enterprise in collaboration
with Klaus Leidorf and Chris Musson).
(vi) The capture, processing and interpretation of
LiDAR data (collection and initial processing by
CGR of Parma, further analysis and interpretation
by ATS Enterprise in collaboration with Dominic
Powlesland).
The collection and mapping of the sites published in
the Archaeological Map of Lombardy (Poggiani Keller,
1992), with subsequent updates, produced evidence of
118 previously known archaeological sites within the
2kmwide buffer zone, representing a density of
about 2.38 sites per square kilometre, which is
relatively high by comparison with the national
average. Even so, this obviously constituted only the
tip of the iceberg in terms of the potential number of
sites within the survey area. Recent studies in Tuscany,
Lazio and Puglia (Guaitoli, 1997; Campana, 2009) have
suggested that, in the absence of systematic survey
projects, the publishedarchaeology as represented in
the archives of the Archaeological Superintendency,
represents no more than 1% to 5% of the real
archaeological potential. If applied to the BREBEMI
motorway this would suggest the possibility of
between 2000 and 12 000 archaeological sites and
ndspots within the buffer zone!
The rst stages of the analytical work went some
way towards conrming this suspicion. For instance,
the new aerial survey and the analysis of the historical
aerial photographs added another 76 sitesof various
kinds, substantially enriching the landscape picture
and in some cases providing very detailed information
about the sites concerned. An equally important
contribution from the aerial photograph studies lay,
as expected, in the reconstruction of the centuriation
Figure 3. Flowchart of information and activities within the BREBEMI project.
142 S. Campana and M. Dabas
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Archaeol. Prospect. 18, 139148 (2011)
DOI: 10.1002/arp
grid, knowledge of which is essential to the better
understanding of the landscape and settlement pat-
terns of the Roman and later periods.
In some cases, for example at a location close to
Bariano (Figure 5), oblique aerial photography pro-
duced really striking results, bringing to light very
detailed evidence of post holes, graves, round barrows
and other previously unknown archaeological features
but at the same time allowing the motorway construc-
tion company to take protective measures so as to
avoid major logistical problems and signicant waste
of money during the eventual construction work.
The project also involved the capture of 150 km
2
of
LiDAR data at a resolution of 4 points per m
2
,
covering the full length of the motorway corridor
along with the 1 km buffer zone on either side. As
noted earlier, the morphology of the area is to all
intents and purposes completely at and the landuse
devoted for the most part to intensive cereal and
maize production. The collection of LiDAR data was
essentially aimed at identifying barely perceptible
ridges, elevated areas and depressions, many of them
perhaps related to former water courses. The rst
stage of data processing, to create a basic digital
terrain model, was carried out by CGR of Parma, the
survey company that undertook the initial data
capture. The second step involved collaboration
between ATS Enterprise and Professor Dominic
Powlesland in the UK, using his visualization
software, LidarViewer. This allowed the identication
of 509 potentially signicant features, consisting of
173 depressions, mainly interpretable as palaeoriver
Figure 4. Mapped evidence part of the survey area. (a) Historical cadastral map recording 3650 potentially relevant placenames and 154 km of
eld boundaries within the 1kmwide buffer zone on either side of the motorway corridor. (b) Distribution map of known sites and related
archaeological evidence (118 in all, including 50 within the sample area). (c) Map of springs, palaeochannels, uvial ridges and uvial terraces,
clearly showing the hydrogeological pattern of the area. (d) Distribution map of features detected through exploratory aerial survey and oblique
aerial photography. This gure is available in colour online at wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/arp.
143The BREBEMI Project (Italy)
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Archaeol. Prospect. 18, 139148 (2011)
DOI: 10.1002/arp
channels on the basis of their size, continuity and
sinuous shape, along with 336 ridges or elevatedareas,
at least some of them interpretable as uvial ridges.
The information currently available shows a clear
tendency for known archaeological sitesto occupy
uvial ridges and other elevatedareas within the
plain. This is not to imply that these 366 raised areas
correspond to a similar number of archaeological sites,
only that these areas have a higher potential for the
recovery of traces of past human activity. For instance,
overlaying the LiDAR data on the aerial survey results
for the area illustrated in Figure 6 shows that there is a
clear correspondence between the features detected
from the air and a terrace or ridge bordered on either
side by two shallow depressions or valleys.An
alternative interpretation would see the aerial photo-
graph features at Bariano as potentially continuing
across the whole of the elds concerned but only being
visible as cropmarks on the thinner and potentially
drier soil of the ridges compared with the deeper and
less responsive soil in the anking depressions
(Figure 6).
There can be no clear rule of interpretation about
such situations but there are many other instances
Figure 5. Newly discovered cropmark sites near Bariano. ( Top) The relationship between site and motorway. (Bottom left) Archaeological features
associated with ancient road systems, the centuriation pattern, large round barrows and graves. (Bottom right) Details of the cemetery area and
settlement evidence including a ditch, postholes and probable grubenhauses. Thisgure is available in colouronline at wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/arp.
144 S. Campana and M. Dabas
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Archaeol. Prospect. 18, 139148 (2011)
DOI: 10.1002/arp
within the survey area where there is a clear
relationship between topographical features in the
LiDAR data and known or suspected archaeological
sites established through documentary, placename
and cartographic research or through geophysical
prospection or aerial photograph studies. With all
due caution it is fair to stress the importance of
carefully analysed LiDAR data, even in apparently
unpromisingsituations, in the process of archaeo-
logical prospection and indeed within the archaeo-
logical process as a whole.
Turning now to the second part of the process, and in
particular the collection of geophysical measurements
and related groundtruthing, both BREBEMI and the
Superintendency demanded a high level of reliability in
the interpretation of the geophysical data. This is what
prompted LAP&T and ATS Enterprise to involve
Geocarta in the systematic collection of AMP (magnet-
ic) and ARP (geoelectrical) data on a eldbyeld basis
across the whole length of the motorway of the project
area. A total of 217 ha of magnetic data and 215 ha of
geoelectrical data were collected, processed and inter-
preted. Groundtruthing of the rst 150 ha has been
carried out through more than 200 test excavations, to a
linear extent of about 5220 m (2.6 ha) of targeted
interventions and a further 5000 m (2.2 ha) of random
excavations. Before looking at the results it is worth
making some general comments on the kind of high
speed geophysical prospection involved in this case:
(i) Highspeed prospection instruments demand
highspeed processing and (more problematically)
highspeed archaeological interpretation and
mapping.
(ii) The process of archaeological interpretation was
more difcult in this case because of the peculiar
shape of survey area, a strip 100150 m wide along
the full 100 km length of the motorway.
The prospection instruments for the most part
performed extremely well but the use of a prototype
instrument for collecting the magnetic data appears to
have introduced a certain amount of noise into the
dataset. This noise was further reduced in the most
recent AMP instruments. This background noise,
along with the physical and cultural peculiarity of
the survey area, in particular the low magnetic
Figure 6. LiDAR survey. (Top) Data acquisition pattern for the project as a whole. (Bottom) Overlay on the LiDAR data of features detected through
aerial survey in the Bariano area (white). There is a clear correspondence between the aerial evidence and a terrace bordered on the east and west
by two shallow valleys. This gure is available in colour online at wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/arp.
145The BREBEMI Project (Italy)
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Archaeol. Prospect. 18, 139148 (2011)
DOI: 10.1002/arp
contrast and perhaps other factors not yet identied,
resulted in the identication of a large number of
dipole clusters that were difcult to interpret, reducing
the perceived reliability of the geophysical results.
Despite these problems we remain convinced that the
systematic highspeed collection of geoelectrical and
magnetic data is theoretically correct within such
projects. In practice, however, there were too many
occasions in this particular physical and cultural
context where the magnetic data did not materially
help archaeological interpretation.
Even allowing for these problems the geophysical
prospection identied a large range of both positive
and negative evidence for the presence or likely
absence of buried archaeological features, as partially
shown in Figure 7. Despite the problems encountered
it should be emphasized that the interpretation of the
geophysical data in most cases achieved a higher
Figure 7. Extracts from the magnetic map represented with values ±15 nT (north to top), with related interpretation and groundtruthing by
excavation. (Top left) Structure related to water management. ( Top right) Feature (interpretation with red line) that was expected to be (and was) a
kiln (blue line should be associated with test excavation area). (Centre) Circular features with numerous parallels throughout Europe as (Bronze
Age) round barrows, with groundtruthing conrming this interpretation. (Bottom) Feature of a size and shape that nds parallels within Italy and
elsewhere as a medieval mound or motte; the site still awaits verication by excavation. Variation in the background noise pattern can be seen
between the right and left of the plot. This gure is available in colour online at wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/arp.
146 S. Campana and M. Dabas
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Archaeol. Prospect. 18, 139148 (2011)
DOI: 10.1002/arp
level of interpretative reliability when combined with
information from other datasets such as those derived
from documentary sources, cartographical studies,
aerial photography and LiDAR prospection. In the
most favourable cases it is undoubtedly possible to
achieve a full and detailed interpretation of the survey
data. Despite degrees of uncertainty in other instances
it is certainly possible to construct a reasonably
reliable map of archaeological risk and potential,
which can then be subjected to groundtruthing by
test excavation or more substantial stratigraphical
investigation in advance of the construction of the
motorway.
Conclusions
Over a period of no more than 4 months of multifac-
eted investigation it proved possible to collect and
interpret a vast amount of data, greatly enriching our
understanding of this particular stretch of landscape.
The evidence collected and its interpretation also
helped the motorway contractor to plan in advance
for archaeological work, which might otherwise have
necessitated delays and extra expenditure during the
construction work through the discovery of unfore-
seen archaeological sites and deposits.
The rst 438 ha of geophysical prospection and
groundtruthing have shown up some critical compar-
isons with the caterpillarprospection system
adopted by the regional Superintendency. In this
context it is important to stress that while geophysical
prospection and interpretation improve in reliability
every year it is not possible to say the same for the
method of rescue investigation adopted by the
Superintendency, using mechanical stripping rather
than prior survey and targeted stratigraphical excava-
tion. Another key point is that it is not possible to
verify the results of the excavation work initiated by
the Superintendency every archaeologist knows that
excavation destroys the evidence upon which it relies,
especially if it is not carried out within a suitable
methodological framework. By contrast it is entirely
possible and desirable to use stratigraphical
excavation to verify and interpret potential archaeo-
logical features recorded initially through geophysical
or other forms of noninvasive prospection.
There is a clear contrast here between the approach
of LAP&T and ATS Enterprise within the BREBEMI
project compared with the traditional approach
advocated by the regional Superintendency. Fortu-
nately an outsideassessment of the relative merits of
the two approaches, based on depositions in writing
and in person by both parties, was made by the
Technical and Scientic Committee for Italian Archae-
ology, consisting of leading academics along with the
General Director of the Superintendency at national
level. After a detailed analysis of the two approaches
the Committee was unanimous in its conclusion that
the strategy proposed by LAP&T and ATS, and the
survey and groundtruthing work subsequently
undertaken, represented the most advanced approach
to this kind of preventive and rescue archaeology so
far attempted in Italy and that this case study should
represent an example for future projects of infrastruc-
ture and building development.
One nal observation is perhaps in order. The
greatest improvement in rescue and preventive
archaeology will surely come not from technological
development alone but from a more consistent
application of the kind of total archaeologyand
globalhistorical approach. This change of approach
is imperative because we need rst to understand the
local context by working closely with local archae-
ologists and historians in the attempt to improve our
capacity to interpret and test the globaldataset
assembled from multiple survey techniques. Only then
will it be possible to reduce the archaeological risk and
maximize the archaeological returns from preventive
and rescue archaeology.
Postscript
Sadly, the regional Superintendent Dr Raffaella
Poggiani Keller as is the right within the present
organizational structure in Italy ignored the national
Committees opinion, suspending further work by the
consultancy and applying its own method of surface
strippingto the rest of the motorway. On the basis of
this example it will clearly take time for more advanced
methods to attain a widespread application elsewhere.
Nevertheless, through the impact of the new law and
the example of this and other projects over the past few
years the ground has surely been prepared for a culture
change in the ofcial approach to preventive and rescue
archaeology within Italy.
Acknowledgements
First of all one of the authors (SC) owes a huge debt of
gratitude to the late Professor Riccardo Francovich, of
the University of Siena, who gave him the cultural
background and the intellectual vigour to face a
challenge like that of the BREBEMI project. Special
thanks are also due to two good friends who have
147The BREBEMI Project (Italy)
Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Archaeol. Prospect. 18, 139148 (2011)
DOI: 10.1002/arp
followed and inspired so much of the writers research
work since early in his career, Chris Musson and
Dominic Powlesland; as ever, they helped with
constructive criticism and comments throughout all
stages of the project.
Sincere thanks are also due to the BREBEMI
company for the great opportunity and trust pro-
vided by the president Dr Francesco Bettoni, the
general director Prof Bruno Bottiglieri, the chief of the
rescue archaeology bureau Dr Paola Rigobello and
the companys chief engineer Dr Lorenzo Foddai. The
authors are further indebted to the SoIng company, in
particular to Annalisa Morelli, Gianfranco Morelli
and Giovanni Bitella, as well as to Iacopo Nicolosi at
the Italian National Institute of Geophysics and
Vulcanology. Grateful thanks also go to Klaus Leidorf
of Luftbilddocumentazion in Germany. All of these
friends and colleagues contributed to the successful
conduct and management of the eld investigations
and to the overall outcome of the project.
Special thanks are also due to the team of the
Laboratory of Landscape Archaeology and Remote
Sensing at the University of Siena and of the spinoff
company ATS Enterprise: Cristina Felici, Matteo
Sordini, Francesco Pericci, Lorenzo Marasco, Barbara
Frezza, Anna Caprasecca and Francesco Brogi.
Finally, heartfelt thanks also go to the president of
the Superior Consiluim of Cultural Heritage prof.
Andrea Carandini, to director Prof Giuseppe Sassetelli
and the members of the Scientic Committee for
Italian Archaeology, and lastly to the General Director
of the Superintendency, Dr Stefano De Caro, for
providing the opportunity to discuss our project and
for having the courage to present a report which will
hopefully see the start of a cultural revolution in
Italian archaeology moving from rescue to real
preventive approach.
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Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Archaeol. Prospect. 18, 139148 (2011)
DOI: 10.1002/arp
... The need to evaluate linear corridors traversing many kilometres of countryside in advance of the building of pipelines, new roads or the upgrading of existing routes, continues to create considerable demand for non-destructive evaluation (Campana and Dabas 2011). Geophysical survey thus has a crucial role in such linear developments and although the general rules of survey as outlined elsewhere in these guidelines apply the special problems of survey logistics, and the choice of an appropriate balance of survey methodology, suggest that a separate consideration is needed. ...
... The interpretation of the archaeological record will benefit from using additional techniques. However, earth resistance survey over large areas is currently only undertaken when it is clearly called for on the basis of independent evidence (see Part IV, 1.3), but with the ongoing development of wheeled and motorised systems such surveys are becoming feasible (Campana and Dabas 2011). In some cases they may even be a better means of archaeological evaluation. ...
... A number of developments, such as mounting electrodes on a fixed frame as well as automated measurement and data recording have greatly increased the speed at which this can be done. Some cart systems have also been developed and motorised trapezoidal arrays are also in use (Campana and Dabas 2011). The rate of ground coverage of manual surveys typically remains about half that possible using a magnetometer, so survey costs per unit area are generally higher. ...
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pdf at http://www.archprospection.org/eacguidelines -- The aim of these guidelines is to provide an overview of the issues to be considered when undertaking or commissioning geophysical survey in archaeology. As every project differs in its requirements (e.g. from finding sites to creating detailed maps of individual structures) and variations in geological and environmental conditions lead to different geophysical responses, there is no single ‘best’ survey technique or methodology. This guide, in its European approach, highlights the various questions to be asked before a survey is undertaken. It does not provide recipe- book advice on how to do a geophysical survey or a tick list of which technique is suitable under what conditions: there is no substitute for consulting experienced archaeological geophysicists on these matters. Using geophysical techniques and methods inappropriately will lead to disappointment and may, ultimately, result in archaeologists not using them at all. There is no formalised standard for the conduct of geophysical survey in archaeology, mainly because there are many parameters that determine the outcome, and there are various purposes for which the results may be used. A variety of geophysical techniques is available (e.g. Magnetometer, earth resistance and ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey) and an archaeological geophysicist will chose a particular methodology for collecting data with any of these techniques (e.g. a gridded survey with a specific transect separation). The choices will depend on the archaeological questions being asked (whether broad, like “are there any archaeological features in this planned road corridor?” or detailed as in “is this wall foundation one brick wide or two?”). The following sections discuss the issues for consideration when selecting geophysical techniques and methodologies, but do not specify specific requirements as these will vary according to context.
... Systematic test excavations were also planned to explore or verify anomalies identified by any or all of these techniques. Independently, the regional superintendence designed a pattern of random test trenches amounting to a 5% sample of the motorway corridor (Campana & Dabas 2011). Within the BREBEMI company a GIS was designed to integrate, manage and share (in real time with the contractors as well the Superintendence of Lombard Region) the collected data at all stages from data acquisition to interpretation and field checking, so as to assess any significant findings and to develop 'predictive' archaeological models. ...
... Naturally, there are no an easy answers to the complex questions raised by the introduction of Planning Led Archaeology. The BREBEMI project, however, made it possible for a consortium of archaeologists and others to collect a huge amount of potentially informative data in a very short time: 438 ha of geophysical measurements (both magnetic and geo-electrical), informative oblique air-photography, 150 km 2 of high-resolution LiDAR data, hundreds of specifically-targeted test excavations, evidence for thousands of archaeological features as well as for topography, geomorphology and other environmental factors (Campana & Dabas 2011). ...
... Figure 14. Results of a large magnetometer survey in the Po Valley, Italy, showing over the same area several lightning-induced anomalies (some outlined in red, see also inset), a dense network of palaeochannels, an Iron-age necropolis (green outline), and modern disturbances (−15 to +15 nT, white to black) [75]. ...
... Figure 14. Results of a large magnetometer survey in the Po Valley, Italy, showing over the same area several lightning-induced anomalies (some outlined in red, see also inset), a dense network of palaeochannels, an Iron-age necropolis (green outline), and modern disturbances (−15 to +15 nT, white to black) [75]. ...
Article
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For the interpretation of archaeological geophysical data as archaeological features, it is essential that the recorded anomalies can be clearly delineated and analyzed, and therefore, care has been taken to obtain the best possible data. However, as with all measurements, data are degraded by unwanted components, or noise. This review clarifies the terminology, discusses the four major sources of noise (instrument, use of instrument, external, soil), and demonstrates how it can be characterized using geostatistical and wavenumber methods. It is important to recognize that even with improved instruments, some noise sources, like soil noise, may persist and that degraded data may be the result of unexpected sources, for example, global positioning system synchronization problems. Suggestions for the evaluation and recording of noise levels are provided to allow estimation of the limit of detection for archaeological geophysical anomalies.
... One problem is a lack of efficient, commercially available cart systems that have become so popular with other geophysical methods due to vast increases is survey speed and sampling density. Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS)-integrated array systems are now widely used for MG (Campana & Dabas, 2011;David, Linford, & Linford, 2008;Gaffney et al., 2012). Similar developments have also been made for ER (Campana, Dabas, Marasco, Piro, & Zamuner, 2009;Dabas, 2008) and GPR (Linford, Linford, Martin, & Payne, 2010;Novo, Dabas, & Morelli, 2012;Trinks et al., 2010). ...
Article
Electromagnetic induction (EMI) has been used in archaeology for decades, but still lags in use and development when compared to magnetometry and ground‐penetrating radar. While it has become more popular than electrical resistivity area survey, it is now less commonly used than electrical resistivity tomography. The EMI method is likely underutilized due to drift problems and a lack of multi‐sensor, vehicle‐towed systems capable of rapid, high‐density data collection. In this article we demonstrate not only the effectiveness of EMI survey, but a case where entire villages would have remained undetected without it. At the Singer‐Hieronymus Site in central Kentucky, USA, a vehicle‐towed frequency domain EMI survey detected the location of plazas, residential areas, and trash disposal areas across multiple Fort Ancient villages that contained both intact and heavily disturbed deposits. Additionally, three new villages were revealed. Through this process, we discovered how Fort Ancient village dynamics may be studied through a geophysical investigation of village shape, size, and spatial organization.
... Landmark survey projects including the Stonehenge Hidden Landscapes project (De Smedt et al. 2014;Gaffney et al. 2012) and BREBEMI project (Campana & Dabas 2011) and ongoing work mapping prehistoric landscapes in Ohio (Burks 2014a;Burks 2014b) demonstrate the value of scaling up geophysical survey beyond the site, prompting a reconsideration of approaches to the archaeological countryside. These new approaches to the archaeology of the rural world draw on extensive geophysical survey data that can complement fieldwalking or shovel testing (Thompson et al. 2018), leading to the identification of physical roads and pathways that link sites to points of interest in the wider landscape (Casana & Herrmann 2010: 64), and to the identification of previously undiscovered and archaeological features and sites (Campana 2017b(Campana : 1238) that contextualize previously known sites or show activity in formerly quiet areas of the landscape. ...
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The series' title expresses the desire to deepen the profiles related to the European integration process, not ignoring the most bureaucratic and questionable aspects, but looking beyond them, in the logic emerging from the assonance game indicated by the title. Sapere l’Europa, sapere d'Europa originates from the need to savor the news - some of them irreversible - of which the integration process is bearer and from which it feeds: incentive to research not only on new contents but on the method of thinking, of ways of public and private presence and related interactions. Sapere l’Europa, sapere d'Europa, instead, points out the need to bring out what - inventions and disseminated knowledge, practices and collective traditions - is nestled in the humus of Venice and Veneto with a markedly European flavor.
Article
Geophysical techniques are clearly beneficial for archaeology, but limits exist. A good knowledge of these limitations is important in order to estimate precisely the reliability of these remote sensing techniques. The Canal Seine‐Nord Europe project provides a good opportunity to compare geophysical results with those from trial trenching with a mechanical digger. In 2009, magnetic and resistivity surveys were undertaken over a surface of approximately 60 ha, independently of archaeological evaluation by trial trenching. Thirteen archaeological sites, mainly constituted in pits, post‐holes and ditches, were discovered in this area. Twelve of them were detected by trial trenching and only three by geophysical survey. This case study based on archaeological feedback shows that geophysics has to be used with caution for evaluation of this type of archaeological and pedological context (luvisols on decarbonated loess) very common for the north of France.
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Archaeological mapping shares affinities with topographical mapping but there are also significant differences. This contribution will concentrate on two basic aspects: differences in the scale of representation, and the question of archaeological visibility. The traditional subdivision between micro, semi-micro, mid- and macro scale tends to omit the 'local' level which more closely matches the characteristics and needs of field archaeology and landscape studies. As regards archaeological visibility and non-visibility the key point is that, in contrast to topographical cartography, the majority of the features depicted in archaeological mapping are not directly recognisable in their own right but reveal themselves as micro variations in the top-soil or as surface reflections of things buried beneath the ground. This contribution aims to present a summary of the main archaeological survey methods, along with their key characteristics and limitations, while also outlining the potentialities that can arise from their integration with one another in the creation of cartography at the macro, local and micro-territorial scale.
Article
Full-text available
For the first time in France (1995), an electromagnetic survey using a large mesh was undertaken for a detection of archaeological structures over a distance of more than one kilometre (Motorway A77). The original aspect of this project is two fold : a survey of more than one kilometre long, and second, the area which is located only in a forest, a place which is often neglected by archaeologists and surveyors, including geophysicists...The geophysical diagnostic was positive and was at the origin of the change of the main line of the motorway. The structures which were sought after, are heaps of slags. Magnetic susceptibility was systematically measured over a surface of 300 by 1000 m. This measurement enable the distinction between the main areas of metallurgical activity and places where slags were scattered. Problems related with spatial sampling (definition of sample interval in both direction) are also considered using the theory of geostatistics (variograms and kriging). Cross-validations have shown that the original sampling interval was relevant. Finally, this type of study can be applied to other types of archaeological structures when magnetic susceptibility is enhanced not solely as a result of the action of fire or metallurgical works.
Article
Full-text available
For archaeological sites, the survey before trial and final excavations, corresponds to a specific and important phase. For linear transects, and especially for motorways planning, there is exist certain constraints which are specific either in terms of timing or in terms of spatial scale. Within the A77 motorway project, a methodology was derived which takes into account different types of information from the very beginning : DRACAR data basis of the regional archaeological service, specific flights for photogrammetry, vertical missions from IGN, field boundaries from recent and napoleonian times, from the GIS MACAO operated by Scetaroutes (Digital Elevation Model, field boundaries, relief and hydrology, etc.). To these elements, were added the results of field surveys : field-walking, pedology and geophysics. All the maps make different layers which are georeferenced (Lambert II projection) in the GIS. The confrontation of these vector and raster layers enable an assessment of the archaeological and erosional potential of the surfaces which will be destroyed by the motorway.
Article
Full-text available
The aim of the presentation given during the International Summer School in Archaeology at Grosseto in July 2006 was to show the principle of a new towed system devoted to electrical mapping of soils: the ARP© system (Automatic Resistivity Profiling) and to give some examples obtained with this system in Archaeology. The principle of the ARP© is very simple because it relies upon the standard galvanic electrical method widespread for different applications since its discovery by Marcel and Conrad Schlumberger in the 30s. Effectively, the ARP© system was first designed for agricultural applications in 2001 (GEOCARTA company, spin-off from CNRS, France). It was not before 2004 that the system was released for archaeological surveying, due to the necessary increase in terms of positional accuracy and measurement accuracy. We will discuss first from a more theoretical point of view the design of such instruments through ID (one dimensional) and 3D numerical simulations in order to compare the responses with other instruments in the market and in order to design the optimal geometry of the ARP system. Depth of investigation and spatial response of these instruments are inferred from these calculations. On the other hand, the instruments have practical limitations in terms of their design, calibration, use in the field, etc. and these points have to be taken also into consideration. For that purpose, a practical comparison between existing sensors was done during the European Conference on Precision Agriculture in 2003. This comparison was also performed to validate the previous theoretical results. Finally, the design of this new instrument, now used at a wide scale by Terra Nov A, will be explained with some recent results on archaeological sites.
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Full-text available
Seeing the unseen: Geophysics and landscape archaeology is a collection of papers presented at the advanced XV International Summer School in Archaeology ‘Geophysics for Landscape Archaeology’ (Grosseto, Italy, 10-18 July 2006). Bringing together the experience of some of the world’s greatest experts in the field of archaeological prospection, the focus of this book is not so much on the analysis of single buried structures, but more on researching the entire landscape in all its multi-period complexity. The book is divided into two parts. The first part concentrates on the theoretical basis of the various methods, illustrated for the most part through case-studies and practical examples drawn from a variety of geographical and cultural contexts. The second part focuses on the work carried out in the field during the Summer School. Tutors and students took part in the intensive application of the principal techniques of geophysical prospecting (magnetometry, EM, ERT and ground-penetrating radar) to locate, retrieve, process and interpret data for a large Roman villa-complex near Grosseto. Seeing The Unseen. Geophysics And Landscape Archaeology Provides A Clear illustration of the remarkable potential of geophysical methods in the study of ancient landscapes, and will be usefull to Archaeologists, Geophysicists, Environmental scientists, and those involved in the management of cultural heritage.
Chapter
It is now just 30 years since the discovery of an AD 5th to AD 7th century cemetery during aggregate extraction at West Heslerton, North Yorkshire, triggered one of the longest running and most extensive projects in field archaeology in Britain, The Heslerton Parish Project managed by The Landscape Research Centre (LRC). The ad hoc discovery of this Early Anglo-Saxon or Anglian cemetery within what, at that time, appeared to be an archaeologically barren landscape, refl ected the reactive nature both of the archaeological record and of the archaeological response in Britain during the 1960s and 70’s. The research agenda developed during the late 1970’s and still underpinning the projects developed by the Landscape Research Centre, was driven from an environmentally deterministic viewpoint concerned with the relationship between humanity, the environment, the landscape and its many resources. The ongoing research programme combines many different rescue excavations and independent research projects, within a research framework which relies heavily upon the ability to integrate a wide variety of data from multiple sources at varying scales within a single data management and presentation environment. The distinctive contribution made by the work in and around West Heslerton, situated on the southern side of the Vale of Pickering owes most to the long term support of English Heritage, the scale of excavation and other research undertaken and the exceptional archaeological resource which has been the focus of the work. Incorporating nearly 30 Ha of open area excavation, intensive airborne remote sensing programmes covering more than 100 sq km, more than 1000 Ha of ground based geophysical survey and more than 400 Ha of subsurface deposit modelling undertaken to identify areas with well preserved stratigraphy beneath blown sands; the combined data-set is the most comprehensive of its kind in Britain.
Legislazione e tutela
  • P G Guzzo
Guzzo PG. 2000. Legislazione e tutela. In Dizionario di Archeologia, Francovich R, Manacorda D (eds). Bari; 177-183.
Why bother? Large scale geomag-netic survey and the quest for 'Real Archaeology'. In Seeing the Unseen. Geophysics and Landscape Archae-ology
  • D Powlesland
Powlesland D. 2009. Why bother? Large scale geomag-netic survey and the quest for 'Real Archaeology'. In Seeing the Unseen. Geophysics and Landscape Archae-ology, Campana S, Piro S (eds). Proceeding of the XVth International Summer School. Taylor & Francis: London; 167–182.