Tag Archives: Roman Empire

Lunch & Learn: History, Remote Sensing, and GIS: the Avkat Survey Project with John Haldon

avkat.jpgPrinceton Professor John Haldon, the director of the Euchaita/Avkat Project, an archaeological and historical survey based around the village of Avkat in north-central Anatolia, introduced the Avkat Archaeological Survey at the March 5 Lunch ‘n Learn. The effort is a collaborative archeological and historical research project that seeks to integrate a number of different approaches to studying the past, using recent technological advances to integrate medieval sources as well as disparate datasets into a cohesive framework of analysis. The project offers the opportunity to trace the history of a single region across a period of more than 1500 years. Haldon hopes to clarify the political role of the area throughout the period, and to show the effects of human activity in transforming the landscape, tracking shifting settlement and demographic patterns, and explaining transformations in land-use, agricultural and pastoral farming, and urban-rural relationships.
The 10-year project employs cutting edge survey, mapping, and digital modeling techniques to enrich our understanding of the society, economy, land use, demography, paleo-environmental history and resources of the late Roman, Byzantine, and Seljuk/Ottoman periods. From the 1980s, archaeological field survey methodologies have rapidly developed. We also now have remote sensing techniques ranging from ground-penetrating radar to airborne radar systems and satellite imagery. However, the integration of these techniques into a unified project design has rarely been achieved. All too often, notes Haldon, these methodologies are simply tacked onto existing project designs.

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