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IGEAN

IGEAN

INNOVATIVE GEOPHYSICAL APPROACHES FOR THE STUDY OF EARLY AGRICULTURAL VILLAGES OF NEOLITHIC THESSALY

Διμήνι

 The employment of geophysical prospection techniques proved valuable in the mapping of subsurface monuments of Mycenaean Dimini, revealing a wealth of information regarding the structural planning of the settlement. Magnetic, soil resistivity, and electromagnetic surveys were carried out covering an area of more than 29,000 square meters, mainly to the south and west of the neolithic settlement. Geophysical mapping was carried out in four phases (1997, 1998, 2000 and 2001).

Of the above techniques, magnetic surveying was particularly successful in outlining the architectural remnants of the site and guiding the excavations in a precise way. Up to date excavations by the 13th Eforia of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities uncovered two megaron–type monumental buildings, Megaron A and B, with an open space, perhaps a central court, between them. The two Megara consist of different rooms identified as storage areas, workshops, cult areas and residence places, covering an area of 3.500m2.

The 1998 survey was expanded in regions A1 and A2, while the last two phases of the survey explored the areas south and south-west of the Neolithic settlement (regions A3, A4, A5 & A6).  Up to now, the total area of coverage with geophysical techniques is over 29,000 sq. m., with small regions of overlap during the different survey seasons.

For the better management of the archaeological site and monuments, the geophysical maps were registered on the topographic layout and the aerial imagery of the wider region.  A Geographic Information System was developed for the interactive management of the above information layers through the Internet, providing a different dimension of the usage of geophysical survey in archaeological research.

According to the present archaeological data, Mycenaean Dimini constituted an administrative centre, which reached its peak in the 14th-13th ce. B.C. The importance of the Mycenaean megaron structures and the close associations of the settlement with the rest of the Greek mainland, Asia Minor and the Levant suggest that it can be identified with ancient Iolkos.

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