Exploring the Harbors of Old Knidos

Managing maps from the ground up

By August 12, 2014July 14th, 2015No Comments

(guest post by Nick Riddick)

My primary role with the Burgaz Harbors Project this year has been the maintenance of the excavation’s Geographic Information System – GIS. This means that I can work anywhere that has access to a computer and electricity, which usually translates to the pansiyon rather than the sand and shallows. The first few weeks of the season I watched the other excavation members break into teams and go off to their various job sites (or to party… who knows!?). At the beginning of August, however, I was temporarily asked to work with the Harbor 2 (L2) team. This experience was both fun – though not a party – and thought-provoking, as it provided me with a great opportunity to explore the harbor in person from a ground level rather than through GIS, and to understand more fully and appreciate the work of the other team members.

Some days left me with time to look more closely at the harbors and surrounding waters. I was able to explore the walls and tower features, many of which are visible from the surface. Further, I could ground-truth features—particularly in Harbor 3 (L3)—that I noticed in satellite imagery, but had trouble picturing in the water. As a geographer by training, this firsthand experience with archaeological map-making helped me to realize how interdisciplinary the modern field of classical archaeology has become, and also how different the processes are to achieve the goals of archaeologists and geographers.

 

Nick heads out into the field to log features in the map, this time serving at the prism end for Molly’s total station work.

Nick heads out into the field to log features in the map, this time serving at the prism end for Molly’s total station work.