Developing new surveying techniques under the Greek sun

The team’s morning march to the survey area. 

Our work in Greece this summer involves two distinct archaeological projects: surveying in Abdera (Thrace) and surveying and excavating in Grevena (Western Macedonia), with additional geomorphological and geoarchaeological prospection in both areas. 

These projects will provide a new paradigm of techniques available for archaeological surveys, with a stronger involvement of remote sensing, which includes new workflows for remotely identifying and quantifying small pieces of material culture on surface.

Drone survey with Arnau and Konstantina
An overview of the landscape around the city of ancient Abdera
One of the well-preserved tumuli located within the extensive cemeteries to the north of the ancient city of Abdera 

After finishing the fieldwork and studying the available material, Abdera will be one of the main stages of the development of a rather ambitious program of geoarchaeological and palaeoenvironmental multi-proxy analysis (of the sediments we obtained last year), which will help us not only reconstruct past cultural landscapes related to the colony, but also human-environment interactions since the Neolithic.  

From left to right: Simos Trasanis, Konstantina, Merkouris and Giannis on their way to survey.
Sunflower cultuvations, within the survey area.

On the other hand, in Grevena it will be a first exploration, which will help to contextualize the area and the excavated sites and to detect the potential for geoarchaeological and multi-proxy palaeoenvironmental studies in the area. 

These first steps will be to set up the basis for an intensive survey program that will be carried on the following years. 

APAX team visiting the Kalyva fortress in the uplands of Xanthi

Campaigns funded by: 

– The Greek Ministry of Education and local authorities  
– The Institute for Aegean Prehistory (INSTAP) 
– TransMed. Transported Landscapes of Greek Mediterranean Colonisation (2019-2022)
European Research Area H2020-MSCA-IF-2018, 839650
TransLands. Transported Mediterranean landscapes: an integrated analysis of long-term land-use dynamics at both sides of the Mediterranean (2019-2021)
Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities, PGC2018-093734-B-I00

The development of new automatic survey techniques is funded by: 

– DIASur. Prospección arqueológica inteligente sobre plataforma dron / Drone-based Intelligent Archaeological Survey (2020-2022). BBVA Foundation
TrackSherd. Towards an automated archaeological surface survey (2020-2023)
Beatriu de Pinós MSCA Co-fund project, 2018 BP 00208
– Grants for the recruitment of new research staff (FI) AGAUR (Generalitat de Catalunya). 

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