Eilis MONAHAN1 / Apostolos SARRIS2
(1Cornell University, Ithaca, NY USA / 2FORTH Institute-IMS, Rethymno, Greece)


  • Investigation of settlement organization in Late Neolithic Eastern Hungary
  • Incorporating geophysical remote sensed data with other data sources in project-wide GIS
  • Manipulating data to different resolutions/scales to allow appropriate analyses and statistical correlations to be made
  • Evaluation of different methods of geophysical data collection and integration (i.e. how do lower resolution (faster and more cost effective) survey results compare with high resolution at identifying areas of interest? How can appropriate data management allow different kinds of spatial analyses?)

Abstract: In recent years attention has been drawn to questions of how best to integrate geophysical remote-sensed data sets with other sources of archaeological data. Though other archaeological projects in the southeastern Europe are increasingly incorporating multiple data sources, a holistic integration and interpretation is rarely achieved, with geophysical data commonly reduced to the production of images, wherein archaeological features are identified and geographically referenced. In contrast, the Körös Regional Archaeological Project (KRAP), studying the Neolithic-Copper Age transition in eastern Hungary, has developed a research plan that has sought to integrate multiple data sources (geophysical, satellite, coring, surface collection, excavation) from the inception of the project.

In the past two years KRAP has run a high-resolution magnetometry survey that has covered more than 20 ha of the Late Neolithic site of Szeghalom-Kovácshalom. Preliminary data processing, concurrent with surface survey and excavation, allows immediate integration into the evolving research design. Later data management incorporates the magnetometry results into a project-wide GIS, as robust and flexible raster and feature datasets, which then permits further re-evaluation and interpretation of these data in conjunction with data from other sources. In order to make appropriate analyses the magnetic datasets were manipulated in terms of scale and resolution, and though this inevitably obscured the identity of specific features, magnetic “hotspots” were preserved. These “hotspots” were correlated with data produced by the surface survey, and the different resulting datasets were assessed in terms of their ability and efficiency in delimitating the boundaries of the site and to draw conclusions with respect to settlement organization.  Preliminary results show the value of different approaches to magnetometric data acquisition and management to the understanding of a highly dispersed and previously unrecognized form of settlement organization.