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LIVING IN A FRINGE ENVIRONMENT - Investigating occupation and exploitation of desert frontier areas in the Late Roman Empire

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 L.I.F.E. project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the L.I.F.E. project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "L.I.F.E." about.

publications    sites    textual    excavation    ceramic    located    technique    consistent    turn    historical    data    suggesting    world    sufficient    fourth    share    underlying    period    place    3d    met    agricultural    portions    complete    satellite    region    accessible    innovative    site    military    sources    preserved    self    survey    frame    flavour    environment    edges    defence    latest    paper    umm    archaeological    desert    empire    al    companions    life    reconstruction    dabadib    strategy    endowed    western    punctuate    motivated    criteria    channels    occupation    fortified    borders    existence    oasis    century    diocletian    frontier    reconstruct    egypt    southern    environmental    classic    kharga    images    scholars    harsh    investigation    contribution    constantine    chain    settlements    represented    area    routes    usual    installations    techniques    contained    architectural    boundary    combination    remote    archaeobotanical    portion    scope    roman   

Project "L.I.F.E." data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
city: MILANO
postcode: 20133

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country Italy [IT]
 Project website
 Total cost 1˙994˙932 €
 EC max contribution 1˙994˙932 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2015-CoG
 Funding Scheme ERC-COG
 Starting year 2016
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2016-09-01   to  2021-08-31


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 
1    POLITECNICO DI MILANO IT (MILANO) coordinator 1˙549˙459.00


 Project objective

The scope of LIFE is to offer a complete set of archaeological and environmental data to be used to investigate Late Roman settlements along frontier desert areas and to reconstruct the underlying strategy to control the empire’s desert edges. The case study is the chain of Late Roman fortified settlements that punctuate the Kharga Oasis (Egypt’s Western Desert), that in the Fourth Century represented a portion of the southern boundary of the empire. All these sites, located in a remote and harsh environment, share the same architectural features and are endowed with similar agricultural installations, thus suggesting the existence of a highly motivated large-scale strategy of occupation of the region. A detailed study of Umm al-Dabadib, the best-preserved site, will produce a consistent set of criteria to be applied to the analysis of its less-preserved companions. In turn, a comprehensive study of these self-contained and self-sufficient settlements with a strong military flavour will allow a reconstruction of the Late Roman strategy of control over the desert routes that met in this oasis, and will offer an important contribution to the debate on the defence of the empire’s borders in the historical period from Diocletian to Constantine and beyond to the end of the Fourth Century. The sites will be studied using a combination of classic and innovative investigation techniques: 3D survey of the architectural remains, archaeological excavation of specific portions of both the built-up areas and the agricultural systems, archaeobotanical analyses, ceramic studies, analyses of satellite images, all carried out within the wider frame of an environmental study of the area and a historical analysis of the textual sources. The dissemination will take place both through the usual channels (publications on paper) and through an innovative information system accessible to scholars all over the world, which will fully exploit the potential of the latest survey technique.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2019 Corinna Rossi
Egyptian cubits and Late Roman architecture: the design of the forts of the Kharga Oasis (Egypt)
published pages: , ISSN: 2164-1471, DOI:
ISAW Papers 16 2019-10-08
2019 C. Rossi
published pages: 1025-1029, ISSN: 2194-9034, DOI: 10.5194/isprs-archives-xlii-2-w11-1025-2019
ISPRS - International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences XLII-2/W11 2019-08-29
2017 Corinna Rossi, Francesco Fassi, Cristiana Achille
\'LIFE Project: evolution of survey techniques along the border of the Roman Empire\'
published pages: 95-9, ISSN: , DOI:
Proceedings of the IMEKO International Conference on Metrology for Archaeology and Cultural Heritage, Turin (Italy), October 19-21, 2016 2019-06-18
2018 Corinna Rossi, Giulio Magli
‘Wind, Sand and Water: the Orientation of the Late Roman Forts in the Kharga Oasis (Egyptian Western Desert)’
published pages: , ISSN: , DOI:
G. Magli, E. Antonello, J. A. Belmonte and A. César González-García (eds.), Archaeoastronomy in the Roman World 2019-06-18
2018 Fausta Fiorillo, Corinna Rossi
3D survey and metric analysis of the Late Roman Fort of Umm al-Dabadib (Egypt)
published pages: 57, ISSN: 2221-870X, DOI: 10.21014/acta_imeko.v7i3.590
ACTA IMEKO 7/3 2019-08-29
2019 Paolo Del Vesco, Christian Greco, Miriam Müller, Nico Staring, Lara Weiss, Valentina Gasperini, Corinna Rossi, Alice Salvador, Ali Jelene Scheers, Sarah Schrader, Nicholas Warner
Current Research of the Leiden-Turin Archaeological Mission in Saqqara. A Preliminary Report on the 2018 Season
published pages: , ISSN: 2611-3295, DOI: 10.29353/rime.2019.2236
Rivista del Museo Egizio 3 2019-08-29

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