Cyprus Department of Antiquities


"Surveying after Catling: the work of the Department of Antiquities Survey Branch since 1960"
The Archaeological Survey of Cyprus was established in 1955 under Colonial Rule. The object of the project was to prepare a complete record of all the archaeological sites and monuments of the island from Prehistoric to late Medieval times. The benefit from the project would be twofold: It would afford the Department of Antiquities the possibility, on one hand, to prevent the destruction of ancient sites from building operations, land reclamation and illicit digging, and, on the other, to encourage archaeological research.
Hector Catling was the first to be assigned the organization and implementation of the archaeological survey of the island. He took up appointment in February 1955 under a four-year contract with the Colonial Government of Cyprus. A second team was put into the field in 1957 with an Assistant Archaeological Survey officer in charge (K. Nicolaou).
Shortly after 1960 the activities of the Archaeological Survey Branch were substantially modified as illicit digging and land development by mechanical means became a serious threat to archaeological sites. Two more archaeologists were consequently recruited and the Survey Branch became the most numerous section of the Department.
Systematic archaeological survey, however, was resumed only in 1973 with the appointment of the undersigned. Some internal developments in the Department in 1976 and the consequences of the 1974 Turkish invasion put an end to the systematic survey, which is now undertaken only in conjunction with major developments within the non-occupied areas of Cyprus.
The need for the re-establishment of the Survey Branch is more than obvious and will be one of the priorities of the Department in any attempt towards its re-organization.
Ian A. Todd
Director Vassilikos Valley Project
"Field Survey in the Vasilikos Valley"
The Vasilikos valley lies half way between Limassol and Larnaca. It forms one of a series of drainages running southwards from the eastern end of the Troodos mountains down to the coast. The Vasilikos catchment covers an area of 151 km.2. The length of the stretch of valley under archaeological examination approximates 10 km. At its northern end the topography consists of broken upland terrain in the foothills of the Troodos massif. To the south of the village of Kalavasos the valley gradually widens out until it reaches the coastal strip. The most important natural resources of the valley are the copper deposits north of the village and the gypsum sources south of it. Cherts are also locally available in considerable quantities.
At the inception of the Vasilikos Valley Project in 1976, scattered Neolithic and Chalcolithic sites had been recorded by Dikaios who undertook very brief excavations at several sites. Bronze Age material was also known from tombs in Kalavasos village and elsewhere, but no thorough survey of the whole valley had ever been undertaken.
The field survey of the Vasilikos valley was designed to provide the background information on settlement patterns and other aspects of the valley against which the excavated sites of Neolithic Tenta, Chalcolithic Ayious, Middle Bronze Age Laroumena, the Kalavasos village Bronze Age cemetery and Late Bronze Age Ayios Dhimitrios (and Sanidha) could be viewed. The survey was commenced in 1976 and completed in 1989. While it was initially hoped that complete coverage of the valley could be achieved, the density of sites and small number of staff available necessitated the adoption of a sampling procedure. A series of transects, 100m. in width with a uniform distance of 400m. between each transect, was established across the valley and its side drainages, crosscutting the major environmental zones, providing a 20% coverage of the area. The length of the transects varied from 1.5 km. to more than 4.5 km. Sites of all periods were recorded in the 19 transects traversing the region from the Kalavasos Dam southwards to the coast.
A total of approximately 135 sites was recorded during the survey, ranging in date from the Aceramic Neolithic to the Mediaeval. Although the excavations of the project were limited to the prehistoric periods, sites of all ages were recorded by the field survey. Information about the sites was summarized in the field on a standard form. The final publication of the survey (in the Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology series) is expected to occupy two volumes, the first providing data about the sites, the second covering the various categories of artifacts. The writing of Vol. I is virtually complete while Vol. II is presently in its infancy.
The survey of the Vasilikos valley was, unfortunately, undertaken ten years too late! Construction projects in recent years such as the Nicosia-Limassol highway and the Kalavasos Dam have radically altered the landscape and its archaeological sites. In future emphasis will have to be placed on safeguarding the sites which have survived and on their preservation from future "development".
Stuart SWINY
State University of New York at Albany
"The role of intuitive and small scale surveys in landscape archaeology"
The importance of long term regional surveys to our understanding of the human utilization of the landscape is now fully appreciated. The success of such projects has perhaps tended to overshadow the results of probabilistic surveys which in the past led to the discovery of such major prehistoric sites as Khirokitia Vouni, Sotira Teppes and more recently, Akrotiri Aetokremnos. In my opinion there remains a place for intuition in the understanding and interpretation of landscape since it will never be possible, or practical, to contemplate total coverage of the countryside. The strengths and limitations of successful low budget, small-scale survey strategies will be discussed.
The correlation between ceramic surface survey data and the picture yielded by excavations at two previously surveyed sites in southern Cyprus will be assessed along with the unexpected results of the 1997 season of the Sotira Archaeological Project.
David W. RUPP
Department of Classics
Brock University
"Evolving Strategies for Investigating an Extensive terra incognita in the Paphos District by the CPSP and the WCP"
When the Canadian Palaipaphos Survey Project (CPSP) was conceived by Lone Wriedt Sorensen (University of Copenhagen) and the author in 1978/9 most of the Paphos District beyond Kouklia (Palaipaphos) and Kato Paphos (Nea Paphos) as well as the coastal plain of southwestern Cyprus was truly a terra incognita archaeologically speaking. Our naïve initial efforts in a brief field season in 1979 in a 5-10 km radius of Kouklia led to our extensive approach of a 364 square km research zone encompassing three river drainages in the Paphos District, the Ezousas, the Xeros and the Dhiarizos, and the lower part of a fourth, the Khapotami. Over 3 major field seasons (1980, 1983 and 1986) and 2 shorter ones (1991 and 1992 as part of the Western Cyprus Project) approximately 21% of the research zone was uniformly surveyed. These investigations led to the discovery of almost 800 "sites" dating from the Aceramic Neolithic period through the mid-20th century CE. Resurvey of previously surveyed units at various scales as well as a more intensive version of the "standard" collection strategy confirmed the ability of our data acquisition strategies to identify consistently artifact scatters of less than 1 ha. in extent. Further, systematic surface collections of selected "sites" identified previously by the CPSP and others support our assignments of their period(s) of occupation and extent.
The paper will examine succinctly the changing research objectives, data acquisition strategies, "site" identification criteria, data analysis techniques and publication approaches utilized by the CPSP and the WCP between 1979 and 1992 from a self-reflexive point of view.
University of Edinburgh
Universities of Edinburgh and Maryland
"Lemba Archaeological Project: Western Cyprus Survey"
Archaeological survey is a tried and tested technique of information retrieval in the Mediterranean regions and a number of surveys have been carried out by other teams in narrowly defined areas of western Cyprus. Most modern survey projects have as their goal the investigation of changing settlement patterns within a single defined territory. Tighter ground controls, aided by GPS, GIS and satellite imagery, increasingly enhance more detailed retrieval and recording of archaeological, morphological and other data. The result is that blanket cover, such as attempted by the Boeotian Survey in Greece, is seldom realized. Inferences are frequently based on extrapolations from narrow transects and other constrained fieldwork.

The LAP Western Cyprus Survey differs fundamentally from these multi-period approaches. Originally conceived in the 1970s as a search to re-locate and date poorly reported Neolithic and Chalcolithic sites, it rapidly developed into a comparison of prehistoric settlement patterns in radically different ecological niches. Where no relevant sites in distinctive zones had been reported, systematic fieldwork was undertaken. An example of this extension to our work is the region of the upper Stavros tis Psokas where Evretou dam threatened sensitive terrain. The conceptual focus of this survey, therefore, is on the relationship between contemporary sites and on the different adaptive processes of communities in varied topography. We seek to establish the way in which sizes, functions and to some extent economies of contemporary settlements conform or contrast to ecological niches and how resources or strategic locations impacted on developments. This requires a robust dating programme, identification of intra-site variation, of settlement hierarchies and drift patterns, of the existence of cluster formations, and the assessment of evidence for regionalism or site-specific relationships across physical boundaries and interaction with past landscapes.

To achieve some of these goals, we use multivariate analysis of pottery and chipped stone styles as signifiers of inter-site relations based on the premise that community links are constructed by social ties and not exclusively by geographical constraints. The material for analysis comes from our own surveys and provenanced finds from much earlier collections (Last, Markou, Dikaios etc.) in the Department of Antiquities.

Our aims, therefore, mean that we investigate limited sets of sites in disparate and dispersed territories rather than, as usual, all sites in a single region. We evaluate data from the coastal Ktima Lowlands, the adjacent hilly flanks, the Akamas ridge, an inland valley system and selected="true" sites on a major communication route based on our earlier excavations at Souskiou-Laona. These in-depth studies of discrete western zones build on results from existing surveys and excavations, but the survey represents a departure from more conventional work.
A. Bernard KNAPP
University of Glasgow
"Field Survey and Social Landscapes: The Sydney Cyprus Survey Project"
The Sydney Cyprus Survey Project (SCSP) devoted five seasons of fieldwork (1992-1997) to an intensive archaeological survey in the north-central foothills of the Troodos Mountains, in a 65 square km area in and around the modern villages of Politiko and Mitsero. This foothill zone has always been renowned for its natural resources in particular the copper sulphide ore deposits of Cyprus´s Lower Pillow Lavas, which in this region intersect with a fertile agricultural plain. One of our primary goals was to understand through archaeological data and to exemplify through archaeological practice the relationship between the production and distribution of agricultural and metallurgical resources, on the one hand, and the changing configurations of a complex society and the individuals within it, on the other. SCSP was the first co-ordinated attempt anywhere in the Troodos to identify and locate industrial sites and agricultural villages; to reconsider and redefine the existence of Catling´s proposed site hierarchy; and to reconstruct early industrial and agricultural landscapes.
Processual archaeologists designed survey projects in order to investigate eco-environmental issues by sampling at a regional scale. We felt, on the contrary, that regional projects should begin with the question "what is a region?" and with an attempt to understand whatever geohistorical unity there may have been in such an area. Moreover, SCSP was interested not only in locating sites, but also in examining human-land relations throughout. Humans have the capacity profoundly to modify their surroundings. SCSP sought to examine such transformations of a landscape over a period of 5000 years; we considered not only how humans impacted on the landscape, but also how natural history and resources impacted on socio-cultural development and change.

The present paper takes into account the final results of the SCSP, and seeks to discuss them in terms of the total social landscape. In writing about landscapes, archaeologists often overlook the human experience of places. The notion of settlement stems as dynamic social constructions, bearing culture and material culture through space, time and people´s minds, is relatively new to archaeological thinking. I contend that the social archaeology of a region must focus on human settlements, from the individuals and households that comprise them, to the cultural landscape that contextualises them. People use built places and natural features in the landscape to produce food and resources, to express formal design, to make social statements, to live their lives and bury their dead. Such places are imbued with deep personal, ideological and economic significance. As archaeologists, we need to explore the meaning and memory, the remnants and legacies of individual landscapes. This is the study of social meaning in past landscapes.
Department of History and Archaeology
University of Cyprus
"Recording Cyprus´ Mining History through Archaeological Survey"
One of the many contributions of the Sydney Cyprus Survey Project was the application of archaeological methods of systematic recording to metallurgical sites, and the inclusion of finds such as slag, furnace fragments and other archaeometallurgical waste in the list of archaeological artefacts recorded by field teams.
No other archaeological or even archaeometallurgical survey project undertaken on Cyprus has ever approached the issue of recording ancient mining and metallurgical sites and archaeometallurgical finds in the same manner. The methodology we developed has enabled us to record the mining history of the area not only diachronically but also spatially. In other words we have been able to understand the distribution of the different types of archaeometallurgical sites (i.e. mines where the raw material was extracted, ore beneficiation and roasting areas where it was treated and finally the smelting sites where the metal was produced) in the landscape as well as its relation to other sites such as settlements where presumably the work force would have lived.
Based on our observations we are now in a much better position to seek such sites in the other areas of the Troodos mountains and expand our understanding of the copper industry on which Cyprus´ economy was based throughout Antiquity. This paper will present the methodology, as well as, the results of our work in the Mitsero-Politiko area.

David FRANKEL and
Jenny WEBB
La Trobe University
"Behind, before, above, between, below. Survey in and around Marki"
Archaeological survey work by the Australian Cyprus Expedition in the Marki region of central Cyprus has been undertaken at different times, for different reasons, with different degrees of intensity and coverage. In all cases, however, survey rationale and methodology has been determined by and contained within the project´s major objective, that is the long-term excavation of the Early and Middle Bronze Age settlement of Marki Alonia. Survey work at Marki thus differs from many formally constructed projects recently undertaken elsewhere in Cyprus. The primary focus has been site-specific, with survey viewed as an interpretative tool additional to rather than independent of excavation.
An initial survey of the Alykos Valley in 1990 sought to locate Alonia in its immediate regional context and provide the basis for a diachronic understanding of the history of occupation in the valley. Twenty-five sites, ranging from chipped stone scatters to Medieval farmsteads, were identified and Alonia and its associated cemeteries firmly established as the major focus of prehistoric Bronze Age settlement in the region. A number of these sites have been destroyed by agricultural or/and construction activity. In such a rapidly changing landscape, regional survey combined with full publication is essential for the management and protection of the island´s heritage and the long-term future of Cypriot archaeology.
The surface distribution of material at Marki Alonia provided a basis for selecting areas of the site to excavate as well as preliminary estimations of its overall extent. A sub-surface geophysical survey, undertaken in 1999/2000, has confirmed these surface observations and provided extensive additional information on the distribution and relative density of architecture across the site. These buried features may be directly linked to and compared with structures revealed by excavation, considerably enhancing our understanding of both. Apart from the academic value of combining extensive excavation with non-invasive geophysical survey, the latter provides a definitive indication of sub-surface remains and should again play an important role in site management and the prevention of destructive development.
Université de Provence (Aix-Marseille I) and
University of Cyprus
"Prospection archéologique à Potamia"
Aucun programme de recherche ne s´est encore attaché à comprendre l´évolution d´un paysage sur le long terme en Orient, avec une insistence sur le Moyen Age. Or, un grand domaine - Potamia – est à l´état fossile dans le paysage de Chypre: sur un territoire de 6.5 km2, un ermitage, un village des habitats isolés, un manoir, des chapelles et les vestiges d´un reseau hydraulique complexe, de moulins, d´atelier de potiers sont les temoins de la mise en valeur intensive, dès le Moyen Age, d´une zone encore vouée à l´agriculture et épargnée par les grands travaux. Géographes et géologues, historiens et historiens de l´art, anthropologues, architectes et archéologues se sont associés pour mener sur ce site une enquête visant à comprendre les formes d´occupation et d´exploitation de ce territoire entre le VIIIe et le XXe s. Par ces differents éclairages, ils se proposent d´explorer les structures humaines, économiques et politiques byzantines, franques puis ottomanes et les conséquences sociales et culturelles de ces dominations successives sur le monde rural. Cette conférence est l´occasion de présenter ce programme de recherche qui associe les Universités de Chypre et d´Aix-en-Provence et l´Ecole Française d´Athènes, ainsi que les resultats préliminaires de la première campagne de prospection menée sur le terrain en juillet 2000.
University of Michigan
"Cyprus, the Mediterranean and Survey:
Current Issues and Future Trends"
The paper will begin by sketching briefly, and quantifying, the development of regional survey in the Mediterranean during recent decades, in part to provide a context for considering what is typical, and what is not, about field survey as it has emerged as an archaeological practice specifically in Cyprus. In general, survey has been transformed from a casual procedure for locating sites suitable for excavation, into a set of rigorous and labour-intensive techniques for generating regional-scale surface data that (at the most general level) can inform us about the co-evolution of human settlement and landscape over long periods. Part of survey´s maturation has involved a shift from uncritical, evangelical enthusiasm in the 1960s and 1970s, to more realistic, yet also more complex, views of both limits and potentials – especially now that many more regional datasets have reached final publication, and lessons of earlier work have been applied in subsequent generations of survey.
The bulk of the paper will focus on discussion of some current issues and future trends, relevant in Cyprus, but also much more widely. High-intensity survey now allows great sophistication in detecting and describing pattern in surface archaeological phenomena at various spatial scales, but some rather fundamental questions remain unresolved: for example, how such patterning can inform us about function and process; how to account for variability in "off-site" artifact distributions; how to define basic terms such as "site" and "region", and how to move between different levels of spatial resolution and different modes of data acquisition as part of multi-stage, multi-scalar research programmes. As many more survey projects come to fruition, "comparative survey" – i.e., building on multiple individual survey datasets to facilitate macro-regional analysis and the comparison of divergent trajectories – is becoming a desirable and necessary goal, but one whose feasibility may be impeded by incompatibilities between projects.
Consideration of trends likely to be important in survey´s future will include the following: (1) Increased concern for heritage issues and the management of landscapes, especially those under pressure from touristic development; regional studies ought to be important in the strategic, informed decisions needed about what parts of the archaeological record to defend and preserve. (2) Enhanced responsibility and sensitivity to local inhabitants´ economic concerns, cultural identities, attachment to landscapes of geohistoric significance, and alternative narratives. (3) Further expansion in the variety of data routinely incorporated in regional projects (e.g., using a wider range of archival records and travellers´ accounts; projects focusing on hitherto under-explored environments, such as high-altitude zones; greater emphasis on periods such as Arab, Venetian, Ottoman). (4) Exploitation of the revolutionary potential of very recent developments in remote sensing, satellite imagery, GPS, GIS, and internet-based delivery systems. (5) Building a closer dialogue between the often rather descriptive, deterministic reports of survey projects, and an array of contemporary approaches (going well beyond archaeology) which treat landscapes as palimpsests, places of memory, the remnants of past social action and individual human experience.
Institute of Archaeology
Hebrew University
«The [Awful?] Truth about GIS and Archaeology»
When computerized Geographic Information Systems made their debut in archaeology (and elsewhere) they were heralded as the panacea for all ills, and a great revolution after which archaeology will never look the same. As GIS-based projects (including the one I was involved in, in Ramat-Beth-Shemesh, Israel) progressed from the scheming and dreaming stages to implementation, the hard reality began to emerge. It is only proper that the lessons learned in these projects be passed on to researchers and regions contemplating using GIS technology, or are in the first steps of doing so.
As with any other topic in computer technology (and any other archaeological technique) these lessons contain good news and bad news.
The bad news is that there is little that is really revolutionary in GIS technology. Computerized Geographic Information Systems are essentially collections of routines to aid in computerized mapping and computerized analysis of mapped information. There is hardly any individual task within the standard GIS arsenal which cannot be accomplished using other software tools – nor yet be performed manually on a map, albeit somewhat tediously.
Another item of bad news is that the push-of-a-button sales-hype is just that. First, the «button-pushing» stage is preceded by months and years of data collection, entry, and verification which are tedious and fraught with technical difficulties. Second, research questions which seem easy enough when intuitively conceived are often complex to formulate as formal algorithms. Third, despite steady progress since the early nineties, no GIS package that I know of has really reached the stage where it can be honestly characterized as «user friendly».
The good news (such as it is) is that GIS technology does indeed revolutionize certain aspects in archaeology, but not necessarily the ones foreseen. One such metamorphosis is the ability to quantify spatial information. When dealing with stratigraphically excavated material a proposition like ΄phases 9-10 (Iron lb in Dor-terminology) date (on Cypriot terminology) to CGIA, while phase 8 (Iron l/2 transition) is CGIB' can arguably be quantified and objectively tested. But what about a statement like "the major occupation centres tend to move from inland production sites on the foot of the Troodos to coastal distribution centres"? One person might glance at a map and say "Oh yes, that seems to fit the picture...." and another "Nah, these are just random permutations ...". GIS analysis provides ways in which such statements can be statistically evaluated (but only after the formal mathematical definition of what might constitute a "major" population centre, what the "foot" of a mountain really means etc.) Whether this is real revolution or just a very hard way to formally calculate that which was obvious to the eye all along is up to the beholder, of course.
Yet another, indirect but perhaps more persuasive, impact that GIS systems may have on spatial analysis in archaeology, is the difference in concepts and terminology induced by the new technology. Terminology, and especially the definition of basic units of observation and analysis are the glasses with which the researcher views the world. Quite often the traditional way in which its "data" is packaged precludes it being manipulated in ways which may produce new insights. I have already noted that the use of GIS tools forces us to re-evaluate and define precisely spatial concepts that we tend to use loosely. I contend that the concept of the archaeological "site" is one in urgent need of re-definition, and may perhaps need to be altogether abandoned.
The punch-line of this good-news/bad-news story is that we don´t really have a choice... GIS technology, terminology and data formats are fast becoming the lingua franca of spatial information. Almost all of the large private-sector and public bodies which control and manipulate spatial and environmental resources either already have, are acquiring and implementing, or at least are seriously considering doing so with GIS systems. The various environmental sciences are more and more analyzing their data using GIS tools. Exchange of information between these bodies (as e.g. the European historical monument registry) is more and more done by GIS data formats rather than hard-copy maps and plans. Without having any prior information I would wager this is the situation within Cyprus as well. Moreover, the time to jump into the cold and somewhat murky water is right now.
Colgate University, New York
"Farewell to the Garden of Eden. Survey Archaeology after the Loss of Innocence"
Until quite recently, the interpretation of survey data was based on the working assumption of the isomorphism between what is recovered by the archaeologist on the land surface today and the patterns generated by human behavior on the landscape in earlier times. Before 1980, few attempts were made to examine this assumption. In other words, the survey archaeologist lived for many years in a state of innocence. The landscape that one chose to work on was taken to be some sort of timeless Garden of Eden. We now know that things are more complex. The aim of the paper is to look back on this development and to discuss some of its implications for the future of survey archaeology.
The paper is developed in three parts. It begins with a review of the fieldwork that we did at Acconia in southern Italy (1974-1980). After the first season, I presented the results of the survey, and a colleague in the natural sciences at Stanford asked me a simple yet fundamental question. Would the patterns be the same, if one were to repeat the coverage? Hence, we initiated the repeated, intensive coverage of the landscape at Acconia. This work now yielded site distributions that grew richer and richer with each new field season. Thus, we began to learn that site recovery at Acconia is conditioned by surface visibility and that visibility itself is affected, in turn, by modern human action of the landscape. Visibility is not something that is fixed or static; it is subject to change even from one year to the next. In short, this all raised serious questions about the assumption of isomorphism. In a review article that I wrote in 1981, the suggestion is made that, in light of such "dynamics", we may want to rethink survey archaeology.
The second part turns to two studies that we then carried out to explore the issue of visibility in greater depth once there was an awareness of the problem. The first one involves the longitudinal study of modern land use at Acconia. Staring in 1980, we did a complete field-by-field mapping of land use in the area (as well as a detailed study of cadastral records). After an interval of nine years, the mapping was then repeated in 1989 and again in 1998. As the first study of this kind, the three maps clearly document the changing nature of ground cover over time. The second study involves the Cecina Survey in Tuscany, where the treatment of visibility combines geomorphology and ground cover. Again, the results from Cecina show the strong effects of surface visibility on site recovery. "Unsettling as this may seem for all of us, it has to be seen as a positive step in the growth of survey archaeology – a step toward a more complex perception of the realities of recovery (Terrenato and Ammerman 1996: 91)."
The third part of the paper considers some of the implications of the loss of innocence. For those surveys already in the literature (commonly without a treatment of visibility), there is, of course, the need for greater caution with respect to the interpretations they propose. In terms of the planning and design of new surveys, the challenge now is to implement a project that properly addresses the problem of visibility and the lack of isomorphism. This would include the need for maps at scales that permit fine-grained recording in the field, for a team with a specialist in geomorphology, for a long enough time-frame to repeat coverage in some places, and for skills in spatial analysis. In short, the business of doing a survey has become a much more demanding one. In retrospect, there is also the paradox to consider that the survey archaeologist had long expressed an interest in tracing long-term trends on the landscape over time and yet had somehow failed to realize that time itself also operates within the more immediate framework of recovery.
University of Thessaloniki
Colgate University, New York
"Surveying in Aegean Thrace: Issues of Visibility"
Initiating the Surface Project of the Rhodope Plain (SPRP) in Aegean Thrace in 1992, we were faced with issues of probing. The realization of the size of the Rhodope basin with its river plains, lakes and coastal zones and the possible variability of our findings in terms of ecological characteristics (location, representativeness), leads us to address from the early stages issues of landscape dynamics and geomorphology since both were thought to be essential for defining the primary area which in terms of recovery chances (obtrusiveness, visibility), it could be offered for the most successful surface coverage.
It soon became apparent, however, that a still-in-force complex history of geomorphological factors and cultivation choices, affect conditions of survey visibility, recovery potentialities and ultimately understanding of prehistoric habitation patterns in the area: dramatic palaeogeographic changes in the landscape such as plain topography, river-valley development, alluvial formations, deltaic phenomena and sea level changes as well as local politics (public irrigation works, river diversions) or cultural parameters (change of production activities by different population or ethnic groups which moved in and out of Aegean Thrace over the last hundred years).
In the case of the Thracian survey, these theoretical and methodological issues seem to be responsible for the viability of human groups in certain periods in the area and at the same time constitute the practical parameters of the "opening" and "closing" of certain "windows of opportunity" affecting the success of a surface coverage touching upon visibility problems.
Indeed, fieldwalking in the plain has shown that almost all surviving archaeological habitation evidence (Neolithic mounds, scatters of potsherds, lithics and even finds of historical periods), are traced exclusively in elevated grounds and close to modern farming villages where fresh water is found and alluvium accumulation decreases. It is possible, therefore, that the study of modern occupation patterns, under certain circumstances, could provide evidence for diachronic habitation behavior (similar geomorphological and production characteristics) and insights for estimating the recovery chances of archaeological materials.
In this short paper, we present the findings of our problem oriented work rather than a grand multi-period survey; that is, a number of small scale separate projects which were planned to address specific research questions such as the nature and extent of Paleaolithic habitation in the area or the missing Mesolithic and early Neolithic occupation phases.
Our experience, though still in an exploratory stage, has shown that such sampling strategies, could have impressive field results, namely the discovery of Middle and possibly Lower and Upper Palaeolithic sites for the first time in Aegean Thrace.
University of Leicester
"Surveying the desert: from Libyan Valleys to Saharan oases"
This paper will review methodological developments in landscape archaeology in the Libyan pre-desert and Saharan zones, covering a 20 year period. A principal focus will be the UNESCO Libyan Valleys Survey (1979-1989), which explored evidence for human exploitation of the pre-desert region of north-western Libya. The most notable results concern floodwater farming systems of Roman-Libyan date. The results of this project have been published and some reflections will be made on how the work might be organized differently today. Survey work operated at a number of different levels of intensity, designed to elucidate the functioning and chronology of the farming systems, more than to provide a complete record, or even a systematic sample of them. The second survey to be considered is the Fezzan Project (1997-2000), situated c. 1000 km south of the Mediterranean in a region of negligible rainfall. Here, following major climatic change c. 3,000 BC, human exploitation has become increasingly dependent on groundwater sources (used to irrigate oases). This survey built on earlier extensive survey work in the 1960s and has focused on systematic fieldwalking and site recording, linked to remote sensing and GIS applications. The Garamantian kingdom (500 BC – AD 500) marks the highpoint of ancient settlement and activity in this zone, with strongly developed irrigated agriculture and indications of state formation in the archaeological record.
In both projects, pragmatic methodological decisions and strong research designs have been key elements of the successful implementation of the field campaigns.
The Swedish Institute
"Poster on an intensive survey on the Mastos Hill, Berbati, Argolis, Greece"
The poster will present the results of an intensive archaeological surface survey carried out in September of 1999 on the Mastos in the Berbati Valley. As the hill was excluded from our permit for the survey of 1988-1990 (The Berbati Limnes Archaeological Survey 1988-1990, ed. by Berit Wells in collaboration with Curtis Runnels, Stockholm 1996), we wished to investigate how it had been utilized in the past.
The hill itself and some of the fields to the south were targeted. Terrace by terrace and field by field all artefacts, mainly pot sherds, were collected, classified, sampled and then again randomized in their field of origin. All data were entered into a database and the distribution of material charted on a GIS-generated map. Not surprisingly the northern slopes of the Mastos produced the least material; our scrutiny of every inch of the hill did result in some exciting discoveries, however.
Such intensive survey is viable only in a limited area, as it is extremely time-consuming. Classification in the field also put great demands on the survey team in order to avoid as many errors as possible. The sampled material is now under study.
La Trobe University
"Surveying the Remains: Documenting Looted Early and Middle Bronze Age Cemeteries in Cyprus"
Since the 1940s the Prehistoric Bronze Age cemeteries in the vicinity of Marki Alonia (Central Cyprus) have been comprehensively looted. Today those cemeteries are characterized by hundreds of depressions and pits (each one representing a looted tomb) and a dense surface scatter of broken pottery. In the winter of 1998-99 I conducted an intensive, non-invasive survey of those remains, with particular emphasis on the cemetery at Marki Davari.
Davari is a limestone ridge almost 200 metres long and 150 metres wide, lying 300 metres north of the settlement at Marki Alonia. It has at least 324 tombs and is notable for a number of clear internal divisions based on its geology, tomb architecture and datable ceramics. The cemetery was divided into 2 x 2 metres squares and the artefacts within each square were collected, analyzed and then returned to their points of collection (thereby minimizing damage done to the integrity of the site by the survey). Over 12,500 sherds were collected, 1,500 of which diagnostic pieces. Additionally, details of the geology, vegetation cover and visibility within each square were recorded to reconstruct both the taphonomic processes acting on the surface assemblage since its deposition, and other ´filters' affecting the analysis of the collected artefacts.
After reconstructing the post-depositional processes operating on the surface assemblage at Davari, broad-level spatial analysis was possible, allowing tentative observations to be made regarding the internal chronological development of the cemetery and some of the social processes operating at the time of its use. The survey of Davari has permitted comparisons to be made for the first time between a pottery assemblage from a major Prehistoric Bronze Age cemetery and its parent settlement. Comparisons between cemeteries across the island have also been made possible. Furthermore, the survey has tested and confirmed the archaeological value of looted cemeteries on Cyprus generally, and emphasizes the value of site specific, intensive surface surveys of even the most disturbed of sites.