Collection of archival images of the Circus of Milan

In the frame of the WP3 of the CHT2 project, the Politecnico di Milano unit proceed on  the inventory and the selection of all the photographs stored in the Archives of the Superintendence in Milan, for the 4D reconstruction of the roman Circus of Milan.

During the excavation occurred along with the reconstruction of the city after the end of the WWII, the archaeological documentation regarded written texts, drawing and pictures, taken from different points of view or in different phases during the excavation.  This selection regards artefacts visible during construction projects (e.g. the metro, new
skyscrapers) or inspections of the superintendent.

This material has a valuable importance for the 4D reconstruction of the roman circus, because permits to obtain information on archaeological remains that now are no longer visible.a012828

Example of one pictures collected, regarding the excavation of the area and the finding of the archaeological remains.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Survey of Beckfoot, Hadrian’s Wall, UK

The Hadrian’s Wall case study took a step forward today when the British weather finally allowed the UK team to undertake an UAV survey at Beckfoot, Cumbria. A Quest300 fixed-wing UAV (pictured), owned by Newcastle University, was used for the survey. With a maximum 15-minute flight time, the Beckfoot area was divided into two overlapping parts (north and south) and surveyed under two separate sorties. Supporting ground operations took place simultaneously and the survey data will be augmented by archaeological excavations and geophysical survey, including gradiometry and resistivity, surveys previously conducted in June.

CHT2 Spain meeting with Ávila Town Hall

Mrs Rosa Entrecanales, responsible for the Heritage Area in Ávila Town Hall, welcomed us. The Town Hall, in charge of approving and awarding licences to undertake work in heritage buildings, through its representative advised us in reference to the location of historical information, particularly technical plans. This information included the citadel plans located in the General Archive of Simancas, dated to the XVIII century, where ancient buildings and structures, as the alhóndiga (cereal warehouse and selling point) or the barbican appear. Here we have one of the main challenges of this project, which is how to merge historical and current graphic sources.

Second CHT2 Meeting

The CHT2 project has met today in Prague, in the framework of the ISPRS world conference (, for a semestral update about the various activities.
WP2 has been concluded with the production of a methodology that covers all the 4D cases considered in the framework of this project. Either the analysis on time-varying data collected by 3D technologies (e.g. photogrammetry, laser scanning) or data collected by historical documents are considered.

The work is now proceeding with its operating activities about data collection on the 4 different historical sites considered: The walls of Avila (Spain), The Cracow fortress (Poland), The Adrian Wall (UK) and the Roman circus of Milan (Italy).

The actual individual at the meeting were: Jon Mills and Karolina Fieber from Newcastle University (NCL); Diego Gonzàles Aguilera and Pablo Rodríguez Gonzálvez from University of Salamanca (USAL); Beata Hejmanowska form Scientific Stanisław Staszic Association (SSSA); Gabriele Guidi and Sara Gonizzi Barsanti from Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI).

CHT2 Spain meeting with the Principal of the Historic Archive in Avila

The principal, Mrs Carmen López Sanchidrian welcomed us. We put across the main purposes of the CHT2 project and she gave us the keys to find out proper information about the study area (Alcázar gate and its surroundings) in the Archive. She also explained some crucial aspects about property rights. Since our interests were specially focussed on graphic information, her advice was helpful. After a comprehensive review of different collections of paintings, engravings and photographs a suitable selection was done. Moreover, we contact with IPCE (National Heritage Institute) to query high quality copies of some documents not available in Ávila.

CHT2 Spain interview with Historian Serafín de Tapia

Professor Tapia is a local historian, author of several papers and books that deal with Ávila Walls. He has a deep knowledge on both history and historical sources. He introduced us to the evolution of the Alcázar gate throughout the history and showed us its main changes as well as the main damage suffered because of wars and time deterioration. It was a good start since professor Tapia had located a lot of graphic information in his previous works that was scattered in different archives and private collections.


Digging into archives for reconstructing the Roman Circus of Milan

In the framework of WP3, the Politecnico di Milano unit collected several historical texts, old maps, drawings and images concerning the Roman Circus, located on the south-west area of the modern city and revealing a stratigraphy that goes from the early roman period to modern times.

Useful pieces of information were acquired regarding the previous studies of the archaeological remains and the excavations that allowed revealing the ruins of the structure.  The bibliographic research focused on different publication about the study of the ancient topography of the roman city and the analysis of all the material information about the circus. All the drawings of the archaeological campaigns were collected with all the written documentation (where available). After the WWII, the reconstruction of the city started and in this phase, during the excavations, many archaeological remains were found and sometimes used as foundations for the new buildings.

Another field of interest was the investigation of all the publication regarding circuses built in the same period of the one in Milan in other countries in order to collect as much details as possible to reconstruct the circus, since the archaeological remains of this circus are few and hidden. The bibliographic research considered also an overview analysis of the topography of the surrounding (the imperial palace and the ancient domus) in order to better understand the location of the buildings and to analyse in deepen the techniques used for constructing the circus.

Finally, about 60 city maps, representing various historical periods from the Renaissance to the present days, were collected from the Civica Raccolta delle Stampe Achille Bertarelli, and the analysed for the investigation of the changing of the city during the last centuries.


Milan perspective map – 1573 Antoine du Pérac Lafrery

Kick-off CHT2 UK meeting with stakeholders, English Heritage and Historic England

Members of the CHT2 UK team today met with representatives of English Heritage and Historic England at Newcastle University. The purpose of the meeting was to establish collaboration between Newcastle University and Historic England/English Heritage, to avoid duplication of existing work, to share the data and maximise benefits to all parties from the project. Three sites affected by erosion have been identified as potential areas of interest: Birdoswald, Corbridge and Beckfoot, and it was agreed to make these the focal points of the study. It was also agreed that the first step would be to explore the archives of English Heritage and to find out what datasets are available for each of the sites. English Heritage kindly agreed to provide digital copies of any data required from the archives to the project at their own cost.

CHT2 kickoff meeting

Although already started from September 1st 2015 mainly with management activities, the operating stage of CHT2 started on January 25th 2016 at 9:00 with the kick-off meeting.

Held in Milan (Italy) at the Bovisa Campus of Politecnico di Milano, it had the active participation of all european partners.

The actual individual at the meeting were: Gabriele Guidi, Sara Gonizzi Barsanti, Laura Loredana Micoli, Davide Angheleddu, Diana Canova, Vanessa Caterina Tritone from Politecnico di Milano (POLIMI); Jon Mills and Ian Haynes from Newcastle University (NCL); Diego Gonzàles Aguilera from University of Salamanca (USAL); Beata Hejmanowska form Scientific Stanisław Staszic Association (SSSA).

After a general introduction of Gabriele Guidi (POLIMI) regarding the project aims, and a presentation of all the disciplinary profiles of the individuals present at the meeting, a specific discussion about the activities to pursue in the different Work Packages was made. Diego Gonzales Aguilera from USAL introduced the activities to be made for the Methodology Definition (WP2); Gabriele Guidi from POLIMI for the Data Collection & 4D Model Creation (WP3); Beata Hejmanowska from SSSA for 4D Model Publication (WP4); and Jon Mills from NCL for Dissemination and Exploitation (WP5).