Classical archaeologists have long been interested in studying the visibility and view of Roman architecture, but have lacked adequate tools to draw firm conclusions about what was and was not visible within the urban environment. GIS viewshed analysis offers us a powerful tool for studying the role of visibility and view in the siting and construction of Roman architecture. This study suggests that Roman urban visual dynamics were more complex than has been appreciated before. One can no longer assume that a Roman urban temple or domus was sited on a hill or ridge to be seen as well as to have a view unless one can establish the ancient viewshed with certainty. Using GIS viewshed analysis we may determine with greater confidence the importance of visibility in ancient Roman architecture and urban planning.
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Last updated: Thu Jun 12 2003