Innovative Geophysical Approaches for the Study of Early Agriculture

I am collaborating in the IGEAN - Innovative Geophysical Approaches for the Study of Early Agricultural Villages of Neolithic Thessaly project. I participated in the large-scale geophysical surveys carried out at a large number of Neolithic tell sites (magoules) in Thessaly during the fieldwork campaigns in 2013-2014-2015. The project is led by Dr Apostolos Sarris (Laboratory of Geophysical – Satellite Remote Sensing and Archaeo-environment, Institute for Mediterranean Studies, Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas), organised in the framework of the Operational Program ‘ARISTEIA’, ‘Education and Life Long Learning’ and co-sponsored by European Union and Greek National Resources.

The key aim of IGEAN is to identify intra- and inter-site spatial patterns of contemporary Neolithic settlements in the coastal zone of Magnesia County through the comparative study of archaeological and geophysical data. Innovative multi-component geophysical surveys (using multi-sensor magnetic and multi-antenna GPR systems), UAV-IR as well as soil sampling for soil chemical and magnetic analyses) were carried out to enable the study of a great number of Thessalian magoules. The excellent results obtained from these surveys are revealing a new perspective in the understanding of the interactions of Neolithic societies and their paleo-environment at the coastal zone of Magnesia County to the hinterland of the Thessalian plain and beyond.

The IGEAN team have been intensively disseminating the results in international conferences and international journals. I am currently involved in the final stages of the project, writing-up the final results on the integration of soil analysis and geophysical information related to some key magoules prospected during the IGEAN project.

Some of the IGEAN team members (from left to right: Francois-Xavier Simon, Jamie Donati, Tuna Kalayci, Kostantinos Vouzaxakis, Apostolos Sarris, Carmen Cuenca-Garcia & Meropi Manataki)