Smart Archaeology (2019-2020)

This Bass Connections project team continued work begun in 2017-2018 and 2018-2019 that focuses on smart archaeology. The 2019-2020 team focused on the digital investigation of the pre-Roman archaeological landscape of Vulci, Cerveteri and Tarquinia, the most important and visited pre-Roman sites in Central Italy. All three sites include thousands of uninvestigated tombs and urban spots, hidden by crops, vegetation and modern settlements.

Instead of traditional methods, the project combines data from a range of noninvasive technologies—including rover-robots, magnetometry, ground-penetrating radar, drones, virtual reality and even a “smart trowel” equipped with multiple sensors. This approach creates a new model for studying and interpreting ancient cities.


Summer 2019 – Summer 2020

Team Outputs

New Technology to Explore an Ancient Past (Fortin Foundation Bass Connections Virtual Showcase 2020)

Vulci 3000: Technology in Archaeology (blog post by Anna Gotskind)

Tour of Virtual Excavation App (video by Aaron Paskin)

VR Smart Trowel (video by Todd Berreth)

Vulci 3000: Maurizio Forte and Antonio LoPiano (video by Anna Gotskind)

Vulci 3000: Major Finds (video by Anna Gotskind)

The Life of an Artifact (video by Anna Gotskind)

Smart Archaeology: Uncovering Secrets beneath the Surface (interactive presentation by Maurizio Forte and student team members, Duke University, John Hope Franklin Center for Interdisciplinary and International Studies, November 20, 2019)

This Team in the News

Explore an Ancient City with the Smart Archaeology Team

Traveling Back in Time through Smart Archaeology

Uncovering Smart Archeology

I&E Graduate Fellow’s Work Brings History to Life

Antonio LoPiano, Vulci 3000 Archaeological Project


Where the Scholarly Work Takes Them

Vulci 3000: A High-Tech Excavation

Vulci 3000: Technology in Archaeology

Using Today’s Technology to Discover an Ancient Past

See earlier related team, Smart Archaeology (2018-2019).


Team Leaders

  • Todd Berreth, North Carolina State University
  • Maurizio Forte, Arts & Sciences-Classical Studies
  • Michael Zavlanos, Pratt School of Engineering-Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science

/graduate Team Members

  • Tyler Johnson, Physics-AM, Physics-PHD
  • Hayley Lawrence, Master of Laws, Juris Doctor
  • Antonio LoPiano, Classical Studies-PHD
  • Katherine McCusker, Art and Art History-AM, Art and Art History-PHD

/undergraduate Team Members

  • Achilles Dabrowski, Electrical & Computer Egr(BSE)
  • Anna Gotskind, Psychology (AB)
  • Himanshu Jain, Computer Science (BS)
  • Aaron Paskin, Computer Science (BS)
  • Jia Chen (Ivy) Shi, Computer Science (BS)
  • Alex Xu, Electrical & Computer Egr(BSE)
  • Xiangyu Zheng, Economics (BS)

/yfaculty/staff Team Members

  • Nevio Danelon, Arts & Sciences-Art, Art History, and Visual Studies
  • William Seaman, Arts & Sciences-Art, Art History, and Visual Studies
  • David Zielinski, Arts & Sciences-Art, Art History, and Visual Studies

/zcommunity Team Members

  • Ludwig Boltzmann Institute
  • Olivia Zitkus, Undergraduate Student, UNC-Chapel Hill