(Initiative College for Archaeological Prospection, University of Vienna, Austria)
Keywords: fieldwalking, integrated prospection, landscape archaeology, Neolithic
Until recently, fieldwalking was considered the only prospection method that could target large areas alongside aerial archaeology. Hence, many landscape archaeological projects mainly rely on fieldwalking data. The drawbacks of using surface data are well-known but have hardly been systematically studied in Central-European archaeology. This paper will present the preliminary results of a field survey project in the Kreuttal area in Lower Austria, which is part of a PhD-project at the University of Vienna. The survey is part of a larger case study carried out by the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Archaeological Prospection and Virtual Archaeology, which combines large scale geomagnetic surveys, aerial archaeology and remote sensing as well as targeted excavations and geoarchaeological research. Various field survey and sampling strategies were applied both on known and newly discovered sites as well as so-called off-site areas to study patterns of prehistoric land-use. The systematic and, more importantly, equal application of various prospection methods allows for a comparison of results on multiple scales. Rather than ranking the ‘most’ and ‘least successful‘ method, this case study aims to show how they can mutually benefit and lead to a more complete understanding of past human activities and the archaeological record.