Ghent University, Belgium
In order to contribute to the broad historical-archaeological debate on early town formation, and especially early classical (Etruscan, Greek, Roman) urbanisation in Italy, there is the need for more full coverage non-invasive survey efforts on centralising sites. Only when the full layout and internal organisation of a whole range of central sites of a given period are available can the debate make significant progress. During the last two decades geophysical prospection methods have been developed which allow large settlements sites to be analysed and interpreted without any damage to the archaeological sub-soil. The methodology of these large scale measurement efforts, and the complex processing and interpretation processes need to be carefully defined and further refined in order to contribute to such important studies in ancient topography.
The aim of the special session is to focus attention upon the methodology and results of some recent fieldwork projects in order to define good practice and to discuss about methodologies, interpretations and the valorisation and visualisation of such sites. Major underlying topics within the session are: measurement and sampling strategies, coherent GIS-mapping, intra-site analysis, integration of geophysical data with legacy data, artefact collection and remote sensing imagery, automated mapping and interpretation systems, pattern identification and the visualisation and presentation of the field data.
Prof. Dr. Frank Vermeulen is since 1998 Full Professor in Roman archaeology and archaeological methodology at Ghent University. Since 2015 he is also Chair of the Department of Archaeology. Between 2006 and 2015 he also held temporary academic appointments as part-time Research Professor at the research centre CIDEHUS of the University of Évora (Portugal), as Visiting professor at Macquarie University (Sydney) and as Visiting professor at UC Berkeley (Department of Classics).
In his research two major themes dominate: the archaeology and geo-archaeology of ancient Mediterranean landscapes and Roman rural and urban settlement history. He has a special interest in developing and using non-destructive survey techniques, such as aerial photography and geophysical prospection. He currently directs several field projects in Italy, with a focus on non-invasive proto-urban and urban survey.