Geoarchaeology

GPR survey in 2019
GPR survey in 2019 (Photo: Danielle Vander Horst)

The standing architecture in the Casa della Regina Carolina provides a picture of what the house looked like in 79 CE, when Mt. Vesuvius erupted. However, the 19th-century excavators did not go beneath the destruction layer to investigate earlier phases of occupation at this site. We are conducting ground-penetrating radar (GPR) survey to determine the extent and character of buried cultural deposits from periods before 79 CE. In 2018, GPR survey covered most of the garden area (aside from areas currently occupied by modern tree growth). Survey will continue in subsequent seasons. We also intend to take soil cores along the 2018 GPR transects to further illuminate the GPR data, determine the origin of the garden soils and fills used in the construction of the garden, and test for the high lead levels and soil chemistry characteristic of Roman gardens.

GPR survey in 2018
Conducting GPR survey in the Casa della Regina Carolina garden, summer 2018