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METODOLOGY AND NEW PROSPECTIVES

Digital Image Processing Applied to Archaeology: S. Massimo Epigraph from Cuma (Abstract)

Cuma had in the VI Century a decisive metamorphosis, becoming an important castle round Naples. The destruction by the Napoletans in the 1207 marks the abandonment of the town and his territory; Cuma will come rediscovery in the XVII century by the antiquaries and by the travellers of the Grand Tour.
The S.Massimo epigraph from Cuma was found "about the year 1930" in the excavation of the medieval church, dedicated to San Massimo, built in Pagan temple, on the upper terrace of the Cuma Acropolis. Then it disappeared until the rediscovery by Raffaele Calvino, that photographed it the 7th December 1959. The photo and the description of Calvino are today all that we remain of this epigraph.
In this note we present a digital image processing helping archaeological research, because the photo results of difficult reading, being the epigraph illuminated not uniformly and presenting zones out of focus.
The principal purpose of our work has been to render more readable the epigraph. The improvement is notable. The first two lines of the original photo of Calvino publicized on "Asprenas" in the 1960 appear clearer after the operations of extraction of the contours and adjustment of the contrast. Even if incomplete, the Cuma epigraph has fundamental importance for the medieval history of the town, because it is the only archaeological found surely attributable to a medieval building, the church cathedral of San Massimo.
The final results, with the complete edition of the San Massimo Epigraph from Cuma, will come presented in a following work.

Gianfranco De Rossi, Pontificio Istituto di Archeologia Cristiana Roma

Dario Ambrosini, Giuseppe Schirripa Spagnolo, Dipartimento di Energetica UniversitÓ di L'Aquila

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