Following the main team’s arrival on July 6, we started on Monday with sector A to the southwest of Lake Marathon. The heat wave made things rather difficult the first few days, but we acclimatized and proceeded to collecting sector A to completion by Thursday. Pottery finds there were present but not abundant. We confirmed the likely location of the Middle Bronze Age tumulus, but the finds did suggest later habitation in this area as well. On Friday we jumped onto Sector F on the other side of the lake. There, following a storm the preceding day, we were met by the perfect conditions: freshly plowed fields, a rained on/exposed surface, and an area with known archaeology from the Curtius and Kaupert topo map (Karten von Attika). As a result we collected much pottery starting early in and throughout the day. Stone blocks, some of which finely cut, were also identified, recorded and geolocated.
Systems-wise, Sector A with easy access and generally excellent conditions gave us the opportunity to hone our process and the ESRI Collector-Survey123 integration before tackling more difficult terrain near the citadel. While the offline web map and associated survey forms (tracts, transects, architecture, daylog) all worked as expected, we needed to tweak our transect recording process to enable more flexibility in capturing actual field conditions. The pre-made polyline layer where transects were coded was not used much. Instead we opted to navigate the fields using the tracts layer in the web map and use the transects forms directly for data input. Once at home, we synced all data in the cloud, recorded new transects walked daily and inserted these in the GIS manually. We also processed the images taken in the field and stored in the dedicated Google drive associated with our tablets. The architecture form will be improved this week to allow integrated capture of geopoints.
Tania Yangaki skyped in on Thursday to give a brief intro on Byzantine pottery and, after returning from the field on Friday, Kalliopi Sarri (with Soren Dietz) popped in at the museum to say hello and to give students a similar intro to earlier prehistoric (Neolithic-MBA) ceramics. Of course, we would be remiss to not spend some time at Oropos where we had a lovely dinner on the beach at dusk. Overall a very productive week.