Field Survey

About

          Although the non-invasive research has in many ways remained true to 19th century realities,
as far as the Banat territory is concerned, it has been revived in the last few years, at an institutional
level (Western University of Timisoara, through the work of
Lect.univ.dr. Liviu Maruia and Lect.univ.dr. Dorel Micle), but especially through private initiatives,
primarily made by members of ArheoVest Association Timisoara, who, making use of old but efficient methods, were concerned with the identification, research and inventory of archaeological patrimony, all part of the work defined by the concept of archaeological field survey.

          The archaeological field survey is a applied methodology that allows the archaeologist to collect information about the location, distribution and organizing of archaeologically interesting areas, on vast perimeters, measured in hectares or square kilometers. For this the archaeologist has at his disposal a great number of techniques and tracking tools, as well as ones for examining and assessing terrain such as: field-walking, geophysical surveys, GIS, GPS, remote sensing, cartographical analysis or archaeological topography.

ArheoVest and non-invasive research

          Members’ activity has been directly linked to non-invasive archaeological research, the
projects and initiatives taken being proof. The first time any members were involved in an
interdisciplinary field survey was during the eGISpat-Timis project, a collaboration of the Timis County
Authority for Culture and National Heritage and the Western University of Timisoara. The project was completed in 2007 and was the basis for the first ArheoVest project, ArheoGIS (which took form in writing as “ArheoGIS-Database of the archaeological patrimony from the Timis County List of Historic Monuments. Field survey results). Scientific results aside, which in their own right were astonishing, numbering over 200 new archaeological points of interest* discoveries during the 4 years of the ArheoGIS project, training and forming of a goup of volunteer students, specialized in field survey was a great overall gain for the Association.

           “Archaeological Monograph of Mosnita Veche (Timis County)” followed in 2010 and was later put on paper as “Historic Geography of the Mosnita Veche Area. Results of archaeological field survey”. This project has been the result of a collaboration between ArheoVest and Asociatia din Mosnita pentru Initiative Comunitare (Mosnita Association for Community Initiative), being a project focused on a complex landscape archaeology research which made use of systematic field-walking, remote sensing, satellite imaging interpretation, cartographical studies, archaeological topography and magnetometry survey on a surface of 2500 hectares. As a result 93 new archaeological points of interest were identified. Alongside these projects a series of private initiatives of members made contributions to the inventory of archaeological discoveries in the Banat. Initially a graduation thesis, “Liebling. Archaeological Monigraph (in press)” is the result of systematic field-walking of the whole administrative area of Liebling, Timis County, aprox. 5000 hectares, which yielded 104 archaeological points of interest, of which 102 are newly discovered. While the work is still in progress, two other areas in Timis County are thus researched, Igris and Alios, by date covering an area of 3000 hectares and resulting in 100 newly discovered archaeological points of interest.

          *Archaeological point of interest – distinct archaeological area on which signs of historic human activities have been discovered, more specifically artifacts and eco-facts.
          An archaeological point of interest can be an actual archaeological site or part of it. Discovery of an archaeological point of interest may be composed of diverse findings such as whole settlements, graves and cemeteries, isolated dwellings, pyrotechnic structures (metallurgical furnaces or potter’s ovens), areas of metal, rock or salt mining, wells etc.
          In the case of the Liebling research the archaeological point of interest is a term that can replace the one of archaeological site, but the interpretation of these two terms can be slightly different.
          The geographic distinction and the use of the term “archaeological point of interest” has the purpose of avoiding erroneous assigning, as only the invasive research, e.g. archaeological digs, can confirm or deny artifacts affiliation to one distinct complex or group of archaeological complexes which constitute an archaeological site.

Results

          The archaeological field surveys made by ArheoVest members in the Banat area between 2006
and 2013, has yielded spectacular results especially concerning density of archaeological discoveries. In regard to the plains of Timis county, area subject to many systematic field-walkings, we can definitely say that the myth of it being scarcely inhabited before Habsburg rule has been proven wrong by the wealth of human presence on extended areas, starting with the Neolithic.

          Following systematic or specific area surveys ArheoVest members have succeeded in inventorying over 800 newly discovered archaeological points of interest, in the administrative areas of Timis County (>500), Arad County (>200) and Caras-Severin County (>20), which represent the foundation of the geospatial database developed by us.

          March 2013

See results on archaeological map:

ArheoGis

Archaeological Monography of Mosnita Veche (Timis County)

Liebling. Archaeological Monography

Copyright 2013 Arheovest Association Timișoara - promoting the archaeological heritage of Banat
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