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Humanities and Social Sciences Colloquium - Margaret Miller, Apostolos Sarris

Prof. Dr. Margaret Miller
University of Sydney

Prof. Dr. Apostolos Sarris
Applied Geophysics
Foundation for Research and Technology, Hellas (F.O.R.T.H.)

Remote Survey and Excavation: A Dialogue
When Jun 03, 2019
from 11:15 AM to 12:30 PM
Where FRIAS, Albertstr. 19, seminar room
Contact Name
Attendees Universitätsoffen / open to university members
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Remote Survey and Excavation: A Dialogue


Remote survey applies a range of non-invasive prospection techniques to detect and map concealed archaeological features that exist below the surface of the ground and which are related to past habitation patterns. Such survey supports big-picture analysis. Excavation, the non-repeatable experiment that destroys the evidence it generates, perforce focuses attention on the particular. This joint presentation will draw examples from Thessaly and Andros island.

In the case of Thessaly, the collected data revealed a wealth of information regarding the habitation of the wider region during the Neolithic period.  A number of settlements were scanned and the resulting data showed a landscape of variation in terms of their location and internal organization. There are still a number of questions that need to be addressed: How have the built environment and the settlement patterns been modified according to the environmental settings? Have the environmental variables influenced the choice and settlement type?

On Andros, remote survey was carried out at the settlement site of Zagora. Despite the challenges of the terrain, survey verified the density of occupation and pointed to divergencies across the site. Excavation established the timeframe, gave evidence for local productive capacity and quashed theories from the 1980s regarding hierarchical social structure. Remote survey pointed to one exceptional area; limited excavation in 2014 exposed a possible industrial installation. Questions arise about function, and in turn, the economic and productive character of the site.

The two examples demonstrate the channels of communication between remote survey and excavation and the ways in which archaeological research can benefit through the adoption of different technological means.