Photogrammetry and GIS to investigate modern landscape change in an early Roman colonial territory in Molise (Italy)


  • Manuel J. H. Peters Department of Applied Science and Technology, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Torino, ItalyDepartment of History, Universidade de Évora, Largo dos Colegiais 2, 7000-803 Évora, Portugal
  • Tesse D. Stek Royal Netherlands Institute in Rome, Via Omero 10/12, 00197 Roma, Italy



photogrammetry, GIS, landscape change, Mediterranean archaeology, survey archaeology


Legacy data in the form of historical aerial imagery can be used to investigate geomorphological change over time. This data can be used to improve research about the preservation and visibility of the archaeological record, and it can also aid heritage management. This paper presents a composite Image-Based Modelling workflow to generate 3D models, historical orthophotos, and historical digital elevation models from images from the 1970s. This was done to improve the interpretation of survey data from the early Roman colony of Aesernia. The main challenge was the lack of high-resolution recent digital elevation models and ground control points, and a general lack of metadata. Therefore, spatial data from various sources had to be combined. To assess the accuracy of the final 3D model, the RMSE was calculated. While the workflow appears effective, the low accuracy of the initial data limits the usefulness of the model for the study of geomorphological change. However, it can be implemented to aid sample area selection when preparing archaeological fieldwork. Additionally, when working with existing survey datasets, areas with a high bias risk resulting from post-depositional processes can be indicated.






Research Papers