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Open AccessArticle

Reconstruction of a Segment of the UNESCO World Heritage Hadrian’s Villa Tunnel Network by Integrated GPR, Magnetic–Paleomagnetic, and Electric Resistivity Prospections

1
School of Science and Technology, University of Camerino, 62032 Camerino, Italy
2
Department of Anthropology, University of Denver, Denver, CO 80210, USA
3
Istituto di Scienze Marine, CNR, 40129 Bologna, Italy
4
Instituto Andaluz de Ciencias de la Tierra, CSIC—Universidad de Granada, 18100 Granada, Spain
5
Faculty of Classics, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3LU, UK
6
Dipartimento di Studi Umanistici, Università degli studi di Pavia, 27100 Pavia, Italy
7
Idrogeotec S.N.C., 06127 Perugia, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Remote Sens. 2019, 11(15), 1739; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11151739
Received: 14 May 2019 / Revised: 18 July 2019 / Accepted: 22 July 2019 / Published: 24 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Progress in Ground Penetrating Radar Remote Sensing)
Hadrian’s Villa is an ancient Roman archaeological site built over an ignimbritic tuff and characterized by abundant iron oxides, strong remnant magnetization, and elevated magnetic susceptibility. These properties account for the high-amplitude magnetic anomalies observed in this site and were used as a primary tool to detect deep archaeological features consisting of air-filled and soil-filled cavities of the tuff. An integrated magnetic, paleomagnetic, radar, and electric resistivity survey was performed in the Plutonium-Inferi sector of Hadrian’s Villa to outline a segment of the underground system of tunnels that link different zones of the villa. A preliminary paleomagnetic analysis of the bedrock unit and a high-resolution topographic survey by aerial photogrammetry allowed us to perform a computer-assisted modelling of the observed magnetic anomalies, with respect to the archaeological sources. The intrinsic ambiguity of this procedure was reduced through the analysis of ground penetrating radar and electric resistivity profiles, while a comprehensive picture of the buried archaeological features was built by integration of the magnetization model with radar amplitude maps. The final subsurface model of the Plutonium-Inferi complex shows that the observed anomalies are mostly due to the presence of tunnels, skylights, and a system of ditches excavated in the tuff.
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Keywords: archaeological geophysics; magnetic methods; ground penetrating radar; tunnel detection; data integration archaeological geophysics; magnetic methods; ground penetrating radar; tunnel detection; data integration
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MDPI and ACS Style

Ghezzi, A.; Schettino, A.; Pierantoni, P.P.; Conyers, L.; Tassi, L.; Vigliotti, L.; Schettino, E.; Melfi, M.; Gorrini, M.E.; Boila, P. Reconstruction of a Segment of the UNESCO World Heritage Hadrian’s Villa Tunnel Network by Integrated GPR, Magnetic–Paleomagnetic, and Electric Resistivity Prospections. Remote Sens. 2019, 11, 1739.

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