In its original state, the Severan Marble Plan of Rome, placed on the wall of the Temple of Peace between 203 and 211 CE, showed viewers the locations of buildings throughout Rome, and even the groundplan of each of those buildings. It is today an extraordinary piece of evidence for understanding the city in that time period, despite its ruinous state. It survives in over 1,100 fragments, representing only about 10% of its original surface area. To date, scholars have successfully placed only about 100 of those fragments with respect to the buildings they depict. Using GIS and CAD software, I have digitized those fragments whose locations are known and placed them in their appropriate positions over a topographical map and satellite image of the modern city. The file is geo-referenced using the UTM coordinate system, so that the photos and drawings correspond to real-world coordinates. I correlated the placement of individual buildings with excavated remains. Scholars have long known that there are surveying errors on the Plan, though there is disagreement about the number and extent of those errors. One advantage of digitization is its flexibility; one can not only adjust the placement of any individual fragment for greater accuracy, but can also change the spacing and orientation of different buildings on a single fragment. This project gives the most precise understanding yet of the surveying and cartographic methods employed on the Plan, and it allows for the ready integration of future information from newly excavated remains.
The included documents consist of .TIF raster files showing the fragments from La pianta marmorea di Roma antica, by Carettoni, Colini, Cozza, and Gatti (1960); a rectified 1980’s-era Soviet satellite image of the city; a scan of a 1:25,000 military map made by the Italian Istituto Geografico Militare published in 1949; the .DWG file with all of the above placed in it, along with vector layers showing the edges of map fragments and the carvings on the maps. There is also a PDF export of the .DWG file with layers, and a PDF document explaining the project.
Rome, Severan Marble Plan, Temple of Peace, buildings, AutoCAD
Ancient History, Greek and Roman through Late Antiquity | Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Art and Architecture | Art and Materials Conservation | Urban, Community and Regional Planning
Walsh, Justin St. P. 2014. Severan Marble Plan of Rome data files. Distributed by Orange, CA: Chapman University Digital Commons. https://doi.org/10.36837/chapman.000003
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Ancient History, Greek and Roman through Late Antiquity Commons, Ancient, Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Art and Architecture Commons, Art and Materials Conservation Commons, Urban, Community and Regional Planning Commons