(Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Research Centre for the Humanities, Institute of Archaeology, Budapest, Hungary)

Keywords: non-destructive survey ; GIS ; 3D analysis

Throughout many different eras, from the neolithic to the medieval period, earth forts constitute vital focal points of the historic landscape. As such, they are an integral part of any area’s cultural heritage. Their location, their various shapes, sizes and structure can also tell us a lot about the peoples that built them. However, they are under continuous threat from erosion and growing agricultural production, especially in flat, lowland areas like the eastern part of Pest county in Hungary. Therefore while the main goal of our research was to map these forts for a spatial database, it also became imperative to survey the endangered ones in detail.
Thanks to the ever-growing amount of aerial- and satellite photography available, more and more of these sites can be identified with greater accuracy. To be able to explore them in detail, however, we need to employ a number of local scale non-destructive survey techniques. These methods (ranging from geophysics to artefact collection) make it possible to map different characteristics of past structures. However, each of them only describe one aspect of the site. Only by using them in combination with each other (connected through GIS) can we draw a complete picture of these complex structures.
The presentation aims to show how the consistent use of a GIS framework enhanced our survey efforts from planning, through fieldwork execution, to the processing of the data. We also aim to show how through this combined analysis, the results of the different survey methods can complement each other to form a more detailed picture of the earth forts of Pest county.

Relevance for the conference: The presentation shows how modern fieldwork technology and digital spatial processing can help map sites in much more detail, thus allowing them to be better protected.
Relevance for the session: The presentation explains how GIS can be used as a tool for combining different survey datasets, thereby enhancing the results that can be obtained from them.
Innovation: The use of these methods through a common GIS framework allows for a more accurate planning of fieldwork as well as opening new ways to look at the obtained data.