University of Southampton OCS (beta), CAA 2012

Font Size: 
The application of GIS to the study of Roman centuriated landscape in the low Padua Plain (Italy)
Michele Matteazzi

Last modified: 2011-12-18


The use of Geographical Information Systems in Landscape Archeology is greatly increased in recent years, especially in those studies that consider an archeomorfological approach. Actually, they provide a frame in which all geographically referenced information necessary to conduct a research on the landscape can be included and analysed in a multileyered and multiscale environment. They also provide an easy and effective data management, an excellent graphical output and, above all, high spatial accuracy. The proposal paper deals with the contribution that such Systems can bring to the archaeomorfological study of a wide territory, extended to the South of city of Padua between the Venice Lagoon and the Euganei hills. In this area, the study of landscape shapes actually highlights the traces of ancient territorial structurations organized by orthogonal axes that is believed to be able to refer to some Roman centuriated field systems. These interventions would be associated to the municipia of Patavium (Padua) and Ateste (Este), between whose territories during Roman age was administratively divided the plain to the South of Padua. Therefore, through a photointerpretation and cartointerpretation work as well as a series of topographic analysis (including viewshed, least cost route and flood analysis) carried out by exploiting the many possibilities offered by GIS, it will try to understand the conception that lies  behind these interventions of land division, the ways of achievement and their real extent, beside the importance they had in landscape modeling during medieval and modern times and that has allowed theirs preservation (in form of tracks) until the present day.


Landscape Archaeology; Archaeomorphology; GIS; centuriation