One Day with the Digital Archaeology Lab (University of Foggia)

IMG_8033Today the team of the Digital Archaeology Lab (LAD) is joining the archaeological equipe on the site of Montecorvino (View torre di montecorvino in a larger map). The wonderful medieval site is located about 30 km west from Foggia, on the hills of the Apennines. Starting from 2006, an archaeological team of University of Foggia guided by prof. Pasquale Favia and prof.ssa Roberta Giuliani is working here to understand the sequence of the settlement. Since then, the LAD team realized several projects regarding Montecorvino site. First, the 3D survey of the tower has been carried out using laser scanner and photo modeling. More recently we started the project of a wide reconstructive 3D model of the tower and the whole site (see bottom of the post …). During last months the students of Digital Archaeology realized several 3D models inspired to the tower for their exam.

Today we are climbing on the site to see the results of the last campaign, meet the guys that are digging for their last week of work before summer holidays, and take some shots that will be used in the final reconstruction.

Spend with us your Day Of Archaeology 2013!

1. Up to the hill …

Giuliano, Lorenzo and Cristiano (right to left) today are leaving the lab to breath some fresh air (normally they prefer to spend most of their time in a wonderful electrostatic atmosphere, surrounded by the whine of the computers …). Andrea is already on the site to carry out the graphic documentation.


After driving for half an hour we finally reach the base of the hill of Montecorvino and we park in a fuel station (clearly inspired by Steven Spielberg’s Duel …). You can see the tower on the background.


The road to the hill is not paved and very steep. We need a special car to reach the site.

Andrea is ready to take us to the top of the hill.

Andrea is ready to take us to the top of the hill.

Andrea arrives to take us and warns us: climbing to the top of the hill is not as easy as you can imagine …

40 seconds at full speed:


2. Here we are!


It’s really hot on the top of the hill (about 36C), but a sweet wind helps. When we arrived, we found the archaeologists engaged in their usual activities.

Digging, of course (and, of course, chatting …)



Digging (again and again) …


Writing their “poems from earth” …


Using the most advanced technologies …


Resting (just a little bit)


Keeping everything in order …


Because every single fragment of ceramic can be essential to understand …


And so every single stone …


And if a beautiful picture is worth a life …


… nothing is so relaxing as using total station for graphic documentation


At least after you carry all the instruments to the station point!



There’s still a bit of time to visit the ruins of the church to plan the 3D reconstruction, and our day on Montecorvino site is over.




3. Home sweet home

Back down to the valley and to our little, cozy lab, our working day is over!



Here you are a first draft of the 3D model of the tower:

nw copy

model of the tower: Giuliano De Felice; 3D survey: Cristiano Moscaritolo and Nancy Mangialardi

And the 3D model of the site:


model: Enza Battiante


Many thanks to prof. Pasquale Favia, prof.ssa Roberta Giuliani and all the archaeologists at Montecorvino!

  • If you want to know more about Montecorvino site and project, follow this link (from
  • If you want to stay in touch with the Digital Archaeology Lab, don’t forget to follow us on twitter (@lad_unifg) …
  • … and to visit our website ( …
  • … or Passato&Futuro, Giuliano’s blog about technoloiges, archaeology and sustainability. It’s in Italian, but some posts are in English too! (use the tag “english spoken here!”)