75779 - Application of Geophysics to Archaeology (1) (LM)

Course Unit Page

  • Teacher Federica Boschi

  • Credits 6

  • SSD GEO/11

  • Teaching Mode Traditional lectures

  • Language Italian

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

Students will get a basic knowledge of the methodologies and perspectives of geophysics and non invasive prospecting methods for archaeology, as well as critical tools for understanding and interpreting remote sensing data in the archaeological applications.

Course contents

The course will start with the following schedule:

- Monday 13-15

- Wednesday 13-15

- Thursday 11-13

Course contents: Introduction to the non-destructive methods for archaeology, with particular focus on geophysical prospections and remote sensing techniques (aerial photography, satellite imagery, LiDAR). Scale and context of survey: geophysics for urban archaeology (abandoned sites and cities with continuity of life). Geophysics and landscape archaeology. Non invasive techniques and Preventive Archaeology: experiences in Italy and Europe. Data integration and interpretation. Mapping and GIS data management. Case histories.


Students are invited to prepare the exam studying:

1) Personal notes taken during the classes

2) E. Giorgi (a cura di), Groma 2. In profondità senza scavare. Metodologie di indagine non invasiva e diagnostica per l'archeologia, Bologna 2009 (only capp. 5-6).

3) A reading selected among:

- G. Leucci, Geofisica applicata all’archeologia e ai beni monumentali, Dario Flaccovio Editore, Palermo 2015.

- J. Gather, C. Gaffney, Revealing the buried past. Geophysics for archaeologists, Stroud 2003.

- A. Clark, Seeing beneath the soil. Prospecting methods in archaeology, London 1996.

Other following readings are simply suggested and optional, in particular for not attending students who are compelled to agree on with the Professor an alternative study programme: S. Campana, S. Piro (eds.), Seeing the Unseen. Geophysics and landscape archaeology, London 2009; S. Campana, M. Forte (eds.), Remote Sensing in Archaeology. XI Ciclo di Lezioni sulla Ricerca applicata in Archeologia (Certosa di Pontignano 1999), Firenze 2001; C. Corsi, B. Slapsak, F. Vermeulen (eds.), Good Practice in Archaeological Diagnostics. Non-destructive approaches to complex archaeological sites, Cham: Springer International Publishing Switzerland, 2013; L.B. Conyers, D. Goodman, Ground Penetrating Radar. Un'introduzione per gli archeologi, Aracne editore 2012; M. Dabas, H. Delétang, A. Ferdière, C. Jung, W. Haio Zimmermann, La prospection, Paris 2006.

For general topics see: F. Boschi (ed.), Looking to the Future, Caring for the Past. Preventive Archaeology in theory and practice, Bologna 2016; F. Boschi, Tracce di una città sepolta. Aerofotografia e geofisica per l'archeologia di Classe e del suo territorio, Bologna 2012; P. Gull, Archeologia Preventiva. Il codice appalti e la gestione del rischio archeologico, Palermo 2015; M. Carver, Archaeological Investigation, Routledge 2009.

Teaching methods

The teaching is articulated in theoretical lectures in classroom and practical demonstration activities in laboratory and on the field. Students, if interested, can integrate lessons with further practical activities, taking part in the laboratories offered by the Department, in particular the Laboratory of Geophysics and Aerial Photography.

Assessment methods

Final test consists in an oral examination about topics covered during lessons.

Teaching tools

During the lessons visual aids will be widely used, especially slides and projections from computer. Explanatory paper materials, concerning specific subjects of the course, will be provided to the students.

Office hours

See the website of Federica Boschi