What’s beyond the fortification wall?

We have been working hard on investigating and exploring what lies within the fortification wall. But what is on the other side?

Archaeological survey

Archaeological survey is one of many ways to assess an area without digging or even disturbing the ground surface.

It involves teams of archaeologists walking at a set distance from their colleagues in transects or predetermined paths across the landscape. For this project they will collect all surface finds they come across (typically pottery fragments but occasionally other objects as well) and record all immovable objects.

Archaeological survey is non-invasive, which means it doesn’t damage or destroy any sites in the area. It still requires specific permission, however – in Zagora’s case, this is in the form of a permit from the local Ephorate, which administers every form of archaeological research.

Landscape surrounding Zagora. (Source: Jodi Cameron, 2019)

Pinpointing sea routes

One of the aims of the 2019 archaeological survey is to try to locate access routes to the sea that would have been used by the Zagorans. Access to the sea would have been essential to the settlement, and it overlooked strategically important sea lanes. Yet we don’t know much about how Zagora relates to the sea and to the wider Aegean.

Another aim is to try to identify any areas where the Zagorans may have undertaken specific activities.

Exploring beyond the wall

In previous years the team surveyed specific sections of the landscape surrounding Zagora. Team members found some Early Iron Age artefacts along with other more recent artefacts.

This season we are working in areas newly added to the permit – areas that have never been surveyed before – in the hope of finding evidence of how the settlement’s inhabitants used the areas outside of the fortification wall.

It will be very exciting if we can link the settlement to the surrounding landscape and understand how it may have been utilised.

Areas previously surveyed by the 2012–2017 Zagora seasons. (Source: Zagora Archaeological Project)

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