Indiana University Bloomington

Geoarchaeology Projects

Both projects are collaborations between The Finnish Institute of Archaeology in Athens, Greece and the Dept. of Geological Sciences, IUB. These projects reflect multi-year field seasons. Fieldwork expenses, e.g. air travel, room and board, will be covered jointly by the Thesprotia Expedition and the IUB Schrader Archaeological Endowment for Fieldwork.

Background Information on the Survey and its Directors

Björn Forsén, recent Director of the Finnish Institute, and his wife, Jeannette Forsén, are currently directing their second archaeological survey in Greece. The first one was carried out between 1994-1996 in Arcadia (The Asea Valley Survey: an Arcadian Mountain Valley, published with J. Forsén, 2003). Since 2004, they are working in Thesprotia, Epirus (Greece).

Project #1: Geophysical Prospection

Last year (2006) a magnetometer survey was applied to some of the sites detected in the archaeological survey's intensive reconnaissance. However, the group would also like to try to apply an additional geophysical technique, ground-penetrating radar (GPR) to their newly discovered sites. The main aim of this work would be to see whether there exist man-made constructions (houses, graves, pits etc) on the sites or whether the so-called sites are created by pottery that have been brought to the spot by erosion and/or human activities. Possible man-made constructions of special interest may at a later stage in the project be studied in more detail by trial trenches, whereby the geophysical prospection will help us in locating where to dig. A second goal of the survey would be to use the georadar in order to study if the Kokytos river bed has changed its course in the valley through time.

Project start date: Summer 2007
Contacts: Christine Shriner and Michael Hamburger
IUB Student: Mark Bauer, Ph.D. candidate in Geophysics

Project #2: Study of Terra Rossa Areas

Terra rossa areas constitute a typical geological feature of Thesprotia and the whole of Epirus, or north-western Greece. Large quantities of Palaeolithic finds occur in several of these formations which are prone to strong erosion. In 2005, a large terra rossa area was surveyed intensively. Some clear concentrations of tools and flakes were identified. Two questions are attached to the occurrence of the Palaeolithic finds (further see e.g. Runnels and van Andel in J. Wiseman and K. Zachos (eds.), Landscape Archaeology in Southern Epirus, Greece I (Hesperia Suppl. 32)):

-Can at least part of the finds be regarded as occurring "in situ", that is do they indicate the existence of open-air sites?

-Can we get absolute dates for part of the Palaeolithic finds through geological datings of layers in the terra rossa areas?

Project start date: Summer 2008
Contacts: Christine Shriner and Lisa Pratt
IUB Student: Melanie Everett, Ph.D. in Anthropology and Ph.D. candidate in Geochemistry