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A multidisciplinary analysis of the Crypt of the Holy Spirit in Monopoli (southern Italy)Normal access

Authors: G. Leucci, N. Masini, R. Persico, G. Quarta and C. Dolce
Issue: Vol 10, No 1, February 2012 pp. 57 - 64
DOI: 10.3997/1873-0604.2011032
Special Topic: Archaeogeophysics: Recent and Advanced Application of GPR in Arc
Language: English
Info: Article, PDF ( 5.24Mb )

Integrated geophysical surveys were undertaken in the Crypt of the Holy Spirit located in the Monopoli territory (Apulia region, southern Italy). The crypt is a remarkable example of a hypogeal church, sculptured in the rock. It is dated between the 12th and 13th century and underwent several architectural changes during the centuries. Geophysical surveys were performed in order to obtain information about the structural conditions of the crypt and to investigate the probable existence of features of archaeological interest (such as tombs) inside the crypt. Surveys were integrated into a comprehensive project for the restoration and the valorization of the crypt. Seismic (sonic and ultrasonic) and ground-penetrating radar (GPR) methods were used. GPR investigations provided information on possible buried remains. Some of the anomalies were emphasized and enhanced by microwave inversion tomography. Seismic refraction tomography along with GPR was performed on the hypogeal vault of the crypt, to detect possible internal fractures. The columns of the crypt were investigated by ultrasonic and GPR techniques that demonstrated the presence of cracks and deteriorations. Finally, GPR prospection was performed on a wall in the presbytery. The GPR results allowed us to characterize a detachment phenomenon and to indentify a previous door opening.

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