Integrated geophysical survey to detect buried structures for archaeological prospecting. A case-history at Sabine Necropolis (Rome, Italy)
In the last few years, the location and characterization of buried historical objects is a task that generally lends itself to geophysics, thanks to the improvement of automatically measuring geophysical systems and the development of specific software for inversion problems. Furthermore, the integration of different methods permits an interpretation in which potential is understandings and the uncertainty of results can be reduced. The aim of the present work was to detect buried structures in an unexplored area of a Sabine Necropolis (700-300 B.C.) located in the area of the National Research Council (at Montelibretti, Rome). During the survey, three different geophysical techniques have been employed; fluxgate gradiometry, Electrical Resistivity Tomography and Ground-Penetrating Radar. The results are compared, integrated and interpreted indicating location of unknown buried tombs. An additional objective of this study consisted of testing new finite element modelling routines that have been integrated into the inversion algorithm developed by the authors in the past years, and, to compare the 2D inversion results with the ones achieved with the 3D Finite element inversion software ERTLab. Finally, the interpreted geophysical results have been verified through archaeological direct excavation in 2005, which have confirmed the location, dimensions and shape of the buried structure tomb).