University of Southampton OCS (beta), CAA 2012

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Rural Life in Protohistoric Italy: using integrated spatial data to explore protohistoric settlement in the Sibaritide
Kayt Armstrong, Martijn van Leusen

Last modified: 2011-12-13


This paper will introduce a research project that employs a complex set of spatial data to examine sites primarily identified from field walking over a ten year project in northern Calabria (Italy). Our core aims are to understand what these protohistoric pottery scatters represent in archaeological terms, but also the processes by which they form and are discovered in the present.

Our project combines new information from different types of geophysical survey, excavation, intensive fieldwalking and geoarchaeological and geomorphological studies with an existing body of knowledge containing LiDAR data, current and historical aerial photography, current and historical maps, landscape classifications, geological and cadastral data, as well as historical archaeological site inventories. We will briefly present technical problems and solutions relating to the spatial integration of such data sets, particularly the steps necessary beyond simply displaying them within the same projection and coordinate system.  We will then focus on problems in the integrated analysis of heritage, remote sensed and geophysical data, which require a specialist understanding of the way the data has been obtained and processed. The problems of utilising historical data such as aerial photographs from the 1940’s and 1950’s and topographical survey information from the 1960’s will be considered.

One of the benefits of this integration process are enriched site descriptions that place ceramic sites within their landscape and historical context for heritage management purposes, since the addition of geophysical and geoarchaeological information gives indicators of the state of preservation of the remains. We will present the results of work in 2011 with a specific focus on the integration of geophysical, field walking and geoarchaeological information at varying scales.


geomorphometry; integration; geophysics; field walking; Italy; protohistory;