Frank M.R. Vermeulen


Ghent University, Blegium

Frank M.R. Vermeulen is Full Professor in Roman archaeology and archaeological methodology at Ghent University, Belgium. In his research two major themes dominate: the archaeology of ancient Mediterranean landscapes and Roman rural and urban settlement history. He has a special interest in developing and using non-destructive survey techniques, geo-archaeological survey and IT applications. He directed large field research in Italy, Belgium, Turkey, Corsica and Portugal and co-coordinated the European project “Radiography of the Past”. Recent edited books comprise “Geo-archaeology of the Landscapes of Classical Antiquity”,  “Urban Landscape Survey in Italy and the Mediterranean” and “Good practice in archaeological diagnostics. Non-invasive survey of complex archaeological sites”.


From a radiography of the past to a new archaeological diagnosis of sites and landscapes

Recent technological advancement in ways of comprehensive data acquisition, processing, analysis and fusion, allow today to look into the archaeological record without extensive excavation. Even in fields where the results of large-scale digs have since long dominated the academic debate, such as the study of ancient urbanism, intensive and non-invasive intra-site surveys allow now to reconsider old assumptions and to tackle exciting new questions. Based on a presentation of recent coordination work in and around a number of abandoned Roman city sites in the western Mediterranean, a re-examination is proposed of the leading role the archaeologist needs to keep on playing in order to understand, address and manage new technologies for the study and reconstruction of the past.