Herculaneum Geophysics


The Herculaneum Conservation Project is a project that I became involved with during my research assistantship at the British School at Rome in 2009.  For those unfamiliar with the project, the aims of the project are quoted below from the BSR introduction to HCP:

“The overall aim of the Herculaneum Conservation Project (HCP) is to support the Soprintendenza Archeologica di Pompei (SAP), to safeguard and conserve, to enhance, and to advance the knowledge, understanding and public appreciation of the ancient site of Herculaneum and its artefacts.”

The survey was conducted by the British School at Rome in collaboration with the Archaeological Prospection Services of Southampton on the behalf of HCP. The aims of the survey were primarily to explore and detect the nature and trajectory of 18th century Bourbon tunnels within the area of the Basilica Noniana and the Decumanus Massimo, prior to the commencement of their excavation in January 2009. The survey included a ground-penetrating radar (GPR) survey with 250 and 100 MHz antennas and an electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) survey near the site of the Basilica Noniana. A project report was written up by myself and Kristian Strutt (APSS) and the team is now in the process of putting together a BSR monograph publication on the results for this survey as well as a later survey which was conducted in 2009 at Pompeii.

A further project description can also be found on the University of Southampton’s Archaeological Computing Research Group website.

Acknowledgements: This work was carried out in the context of the Herculaneum Conservation Project, a Packard Humanities Institute initiative in collaboration with the Soprintendenza Speciale per i Beni Archeologici di Napoli e Pompei and the British School at Rome.


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