Opening a New Frontier in the Study of Neolithic Settlement Patterns of Eastern Thessaly, Greece
SourceCommunities, Landscapes, and Interaction in Neolithic Greece
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The Innovative Geophysical Approaches for the Study of Early Agricultural Villages of Neolithic Thessaly (ARISTEIA-IGEAN) Project made an extensive use of geospatial technologies in the study of the natural environment and social dynamics of Neolithic settlements within the coastal region of eastern Thessaly, Greece. The goal of the project was to offer a broad and non-destructive remote sensing coverage of a number of Neolithic settlements to study habitation practices that were developed in various ecological niches and to document site-specific cultural and environmental characteristics. The methods and techniques used in the IGEAN project included satellite remote sensing, Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems (RPAS), ground-based geophysical surveys exploring new generation prospection instrumentation, and soil analyses. The manifold research agenda proved to be effective for the detailed mapping of soils in which archaeological residues of past occupation reside. The full open-access geospatial data is served online at http://igean.ims.forth.gr/. The IGEAN project exposed a large degree of variation in the occupation of the landscape and the usage of space in both small and large settlements. The study was able to capture an integrated image of the habitation settings and highlight the large degree of divergence in the intra-site settlement patterns of these agrarian societies. The synthesis of the results opens up further research questions regarding early agricultural villages of Neolithic Thessaly. © 2017 by International Monographs in Prehistory All rights reserved.