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Survey and GIS

Since May 2009 our project is supported by new partners in positioning technologies: Couderé Geo Servicesand Trimble. The Trimble VX spatial station they have provided us has proven to be extremely useful for working at Sissi. Indeed this new machine registers both topographic features as well as 2D pictures and 3D point clouds. The uniqueness of the combination of all these features assembled in one device helps us to perform tasks more quickly: scanning in 3D while measuring or automatically collecting data on other points of measurement. Repetition is avoided and measurement results are validated on the spot. The Trimble VX saves both time and money and the result is a correct and clear image of the registered situation.

Piraye Hacig�zeller and Nicolas Kress, helped by Pierre Baulain (zone 1) and Marco Pietrovito, have undertaken a topographical and archaeological survey of all extent remains within the fenced site of the Kephali. This isn’t always easy since in a number of places high bushes prevent visibility and cover quite large standing architectural remains. Still, many standing walls have been recorded outside the excavated areas – enough potential for future exploration!

The overall aim of the topographical survey of the Kephali is the investigation and mapping of visible architectural and topographical features. The focus of the survey during the different campaigns was the mapping of the terracing system and the standing architecture.Additionally, accuracy and precision of the topographical information, obtained through existing topographical maps of the site, were improved by collecting as many Total Positioning System (TPS) measurements as possible. Mapping of terraces and architectural features continued throughout the five campaigns. Moreover, a number of standing architectural remains were recorded in detail and architectural descriptions of these remains were completed. All this information has been processed in a Geographical Information System (GIS) environment. Each of the recorded architectural remains received a Survey Feature (SF) number in the GIS database. Since starting the survey in 2007, about 2,5 hectares of the hill surface have been covered. An area of about 0.5 hectares remains to be done since parts of the hill are still covered by bushes or not visible from the current reference points used for TPS measurements.

Preliminary topographical plan of the Kefali after the 2008 campaign (P. Hacig�zeller).

Preliminary topographical plan of the Kefali after the 2008 campaign (P. Hacig�zeller).

This plan shows the ancient remains that have hitherto been recorded and also included a series of natural features of the hill.

The pick-up survey within the fenced area resulted among others things in the retrieval of a sherd with a single Linear A sign and what is, for the moment, our earliest ceramic evidence, an EM IIA sherd, incised with dots and lines. This is contemporary with the earliest use of the cemetery in Zone 1. Even earlier material, Early Minoan I, comes from the Kharkoma Bay immediately northeast of the Buffo.

During the 2008 campaign, the cutting down of the vegetation revealed more of the Cyclopean wall at the southwest foot of the hill, where access is easiest :

All this information is then used to generate a variety of maps and special views such as this DEM showing excavated remains on the Kephali hillin association with a series of natural features :

The Ground Penetrating Radar survey took place under direction of Christian H�bner (GGH – Solutions in Geosciences Geophysikalische Prospektion, Freiburg, assisted by Markus Kampfer, during three days, covering about 0.5 ha, in 2007. This concentrated on the flat terraces of the hill since elsewhere exposed bedrock or vegetation made such survey impossible. Several regular alignments appeared and were subsequently successfully tested for architectural remains. Nicolas Kress has integrated the georadar results with the data collected by Piraye for the survey and the aerial photos within a GIS environnement.

Georadar survey within topographical map of the Bouffo (C. H�bner & P. Hacig�zeller)

Georadar survey within topographical map of the Bouffo (C. H�bner & P. Hacig�zeller)

All this information can also be interrogated in a GIS-environment :