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Thursday, March 16 • 8:30am - 10:30am
Mobile GIS and Field Survey: Current Possibilities, Future Needs

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Field survey became an important method in researching ancient communities since A. Pitt Rivers. Ever since, we are dealing with the constant increase of theoretical and technical aspects of the discipline. With time, field surveys were gradually augmented with technological innovations - aerial photography, remote sensing and non-invasive prospection. The direction of development in archaeological prospection techniques depended on environment, types of sites, ways of landscape modifications and the focus of research. However, significant progress occurred through 1970s and 1980s, when scholars noticed that the pace of investigation was too slow to catch up with the destruction. Rapid urban sprawl and intensified agriculture production lead to increasing destruction of sites and entire archaeological landscapes, which could be observed throughout the globe, with some cases more pronounced than others:, Malta, Athens (Greece), Tunis (Tunisia), Paphos (Cyprus), the Nile Delta and Valley in Egypt, Iraq, Syria, Peru and China. In many countries, archaeological heritage is constantly losing to economic growth in the competition for terrain and funding. Whereas in others, where heritage is a part of the economy, sites are looted for treasures. Another problem is the inaccessibility of the archaeological landscapes in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, because they became areas of conflict. In fact, it is not possible to list all the issues, which disturb or damage the field research today. Thus we need adequate low budget strategies, which could facilitate catching up with the destruction in order to preserve, study and manage what is left. The introduction of Geographic Information System and GNSS mobile applications available on gadgets of everyday use opened a new chapter in field survey techniques. It is possible nowadays to remotely manage and to track changes in a site from behind a desk. As a result, destruction prevention, management of preservation and reconstruction of sites and their regional contexts are accessible not only to specialist but also to general public, which, of course, raises a lot of new questions. The session invites papers discussing case studies from around the world, using different work-flows, and managing different problems. We hope that sharing our field survey experience will help to exchange ideas and standardize survey strategies.

Thursday March 16, 2017 8:30am - 10:30am EDT
SCE Auditorium Student Center East