CHArt TWENTY-FOURTH ANNUAL CONFERENCE
Seeing…Vision and Perception in a Digital Culture
Luciana Bordoni, ENEA; Attilio Colagrossi and Lorenzo Felli, Institut for Research and Protection of the Environment (IRPA), Italy
GIS and WebGIS Technologies for Enhanced Seeing in Archaeology. The Case of the Roman Aqueducts
In Cultural Heritage there exists a strict relationship between seeing, knowledge and technology. Seeing a work of art generates knowledge. Considering a work of art, the knowledge about it allows for different and in-depth interpretations that, by the use of appropriate technologies, offer more precise and detailed seeings for that work of art. For example, in a fresco painting the knowledge about the patch of plaster applied for a day’s work (‘giornata’ in Italian), offers of that fresco an enhanced seeing because the painting techniques adopted by the artist are revealed and shown (Bordoni, Colagrossi, Martellotti, Seccaroni, 1999).
In Archaeology the relationship between seeing, knowledge and technology is even stronger. In fact, the knowledge acquired by the analysis of some fragments can offer a much more complete and informed seeing of the archaeological find. As an example, the virtual 3D reproduction of a terracotta slab discovered in the Etruscan Necropolis of Cerveteri (Bordoni and Rubino, 2007), offers an enhanced seeing of the slab because it shows, using appropriate technologies, the knowledge acquired through scientific analysis performed on only few fragments.
The case of the Roman-era Aqueducts is quite different. The Aqueducts are universally recognised as monumental works of exceptional interest and beauty for their architecture and hydraulic technology. In this case the knowledge and the technology can offer not only a more in-depth seeing, but even a seeing ‘tout court’ of such monumental works. In fact, the Roman Aqueducts are not concentrated in a single place or a well defined location, but they are distributed over the territory, sometimes even in wild places. This characteristic appears to pose a serious obstacle to the complete ‘physical’, in person, seeing of such important works.
The use of GIS and WebGis technologies can offer a more in depth seeing of the Roman Aqueducts. This work presents an application of these technologies to the Roman-era Aqueducts built between the third century BC and the third century AD. In particular, two products have been developed: the first consists of a vectorial representation of the outlines traced by the eleven Aqueducts within a radius of about 30km from the Capitol; the second consists of the development of a WebGis application that allows the vectorial representation to be exploited on the Internet, employing a standard web browser.
The basic cartography taken into consideration is Carta storico-archeologico-monumentale-paesistica dell’Agro Romano – the historical, archaeological, monumental, and landscape map of the Agro Romano. The vectorial map thus produced was then used to develop a WebGis application to allow it to be exploited as widely as possible. Among the features provided, the elevation – obtained by employing the satellite DTM (Digital Terrain Model) – was added in order to evaluate the slope for each Aqueduct’s route. Further, aerial photographs of the territory, photographs and drawings of the remains of the Aqueducts, inscriptions and other elements of knowledge about Roman Aqueducts are available with the WebGis application on Internet.
Back to CHArt 2008 abstracts
Back to CHArt Home Page