University of Udine

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BENĀCUS – Historical-archaeological researches and integrated geophysical surveys for mapping the submerged cultural heritage in Lake Garda


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BENĀCUS
Historical-archaeological researches and integrated geophysical surveys for mapping the submerged cultural heritage in Lake Garda

Scientific Director: Dr. Massimo Capulli

BENACUS - Ricerche storico-archeologiche e prospezioni geofisiche integrate per una mappatura del patrimonio culturale sommerso del lago di Garda

BENĀCUS – Historical-archaeological researches and integrated geophysical surveys for mapping the submerged cultural heritage in Lake Garda is a project of the Department of Humanities and Cultural Heritage of the University of Udine, in collaboration with the Department of Mathematics and Earth Science of the University of Trieste (referent: Prof. Michele Pipan) and the Department of Industrial Engineering of the University of Florence (referent: Prof. Benedetto Allotta) and in accordance with the Superintendency Archaeology, Fine Arts and Landscape of the provinces of Verona, Rovigo and Vicenza.

The main objective is to carry out an interdisciplinary research focused on the Veronese side of Lake Garda, aimed especially at the historical and archaeological reconstruction of the events related to the fleet of the Serenissima, from the time of the war between Venice and the Visconti and the War of the League of Cambrai.

Research and mapping are supported by an interdisciplinary method, which involve the collection and analysis of historical and archival sources, the examination of the unpublished archaeological materials already available at the offices of the Superintendency, and the organization of instrumental prospection campaigns. These last rely on the combined use of AUV (Autonomous Underwater Vehicle) and acoustic systems, such as Side Scan Sonar, the Sub Bottom Profiler, ERT (Electrical Resistivity Tomography) and GPR (Ground Penetrating Radar).

The final validation of the archaeological character of the reports/anomalies which will result from the exploration is to be performed through the autoptic analysis by Underwater Archaeologists down to a maximum depth of 50 metres, while for the deepest sites a ROV will be used, with professional cameras and handling machines which allow to remotely produce a preliminary documentation and to take samples. This activity will ensure that, for every investigated area, the following information will be available:

  • precise coordinates for each site;
  • video-photographic documentation;
  • dimensions and possible dating.