University of Southampton OCS (beta), CAA 2012

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Geophysical survey in North Africa: Archaeological research by the British School at Rome and Archaeological Prospection Services of the University of Southampton
Sophie Hay, Stephen Kay

Last modified: 2012-01-08


As part of the wider geophysical and topographical research programme that is conducted by the British School at Rome (BSR) and the Archaeological Prospection Services of the University of Southampton (APSS) on the behalf of its commissioning partners, recent research has focused upon a number of sites in North Africa.

The use of geophysical survey is emerging in Sudan. Over recent years a series of survey projects in northern Sudan conducted by BSR and APSS has produced significant results at the sites of Amara West (The British Museum), Sesebi (Cambridge University) and Sai Island (University of Charles-de-Gaulle, Lille 3). Through the application of magnetometry, combined with topographical survey, highly detailed plans of these sites have been recorded, helping to determine excavation and conservation strategies.

Together with the Università degli Studi Roma Tre, a detailed magnetometry survey has commenced around the monumental site of Leptis Magna in Libya. Survey work has focused in the necropolis to the east of the city and has begun to reveal a detailed plan of the area and the distribution of the mausolea in the cemetery. Further seasons are planned to extend the survey around the area of the port, as part of the wider Roman Ports Network project beginning undertaken by the University of Southampton and BSR.

Finally, a detailed geophysical survey has been undertaken at the Roman town of Utica in Tunisia, together with the Tunisian Institut National du Patromonie and the University of Oxford. The results of the pilot season have begun to reveal a detailed city plan, focusing on an area to the east of the city between the amphitheatre and theatre.

The poster presents a summary of the current research being conducted by the BSR and APSS in North Africa focusing on a number of key Roman and pharonic sites.


Geophysics; Topography; Remote Sensing