The Prehistoric Stones of Greece: a resource from field-survey

Project start date: 2005-04 Project end date: 2009-01
The Prehistoric Stones of Greece (SOG) set out to enhance the research value of survey projects conducted in Greece that had recovered Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic materials. SOG’s focus was to establish a database of stone tools and prehistoric lithics generally and by drawing this material into a common format enhance the resource for a variety of archaeological purposes; in particular academic research and heritage management. On completion in May 2009 the database contained 142 surveys, coming in part from the archaeological grey literature, but also from searching a large number of surveys with a predominantly classical focus but which nonetheless recovered small amounts of lithic material from earlier periods. One of our aims was to explore how to build such a database; what to include and exclude, how much detail should it contain, and how to display the information in map form? We will be publishing, in due course, an account of the progress of the project to its present form and we hope that this will assist others in planning and executing a similar survey of surveys. By concentrating on early prehistory and lithic artefacts we were able to achieve a wide geographical coverage within Greece. The SOG database also identifies surveys with later and archaeologically more complex periods that can be added in the future. The resource is currently being updated with new mapping options and surveys and sites.
Subject domains: 
Methods usedCategory
2d scanningPractice-led research
2d scanning and photographyData capture
Accessibility analysisStrategy and project management
Cataloguing and indexingData structuring and enhancement
Coding and standardisationData structuring and enhancement
CollatingData analysis
CurationStrategy and project management
Data miningData analysis
Desktop publishing and pre-pressData publishing and dissemination
DocumentationStrategy and project management
General website developmentData publishing and dissemination
Geo-referencing and projectionData structuring and enhancement
Heads-up digitising and interactive tracingData capture
Image manipulationPractice-led research
Manual input and transcriptionData capture
PreservationStrategy and project management
Risk managementStrategy and project management
Searching and queryingData analysis
Security planningStrategy and project management
System quality assurance and code testingStrategy and project management
Usability analysisStrategy and project management
VisualisationData analysis
Funding sources: 
Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), Institute for Aegean Prehistory (INSTAP)
Content types created: 
Software tools used: 
Source material used:  
Source data was collated, summarised and standardised from published papers and books as well as unpublished records from field survey projects, excavations and other studies. This material was generously provided by a number of individuals and institutions in Greece and abroad, as listed on our website acknowledgements page. The actual records used are listed either in the text or in the bibliography on a survey by survey or site by site basis. Mapping is provided using Google Earth and Google Maps, and both were used to locate surveys and sites using overlays of published as well as original annotated project maps. The latter were again generously made available by those listed in our acknowledgements page.
Digital resource created:  
The digital resource contains information on 142 field surveys and 680 sites in Greece. These can be viewed individually or as a group using the automated links to Google Earth. Surveys and sites each contain a page of information which can be retrieved from our website based on defined criteria. These contain standardised descriptive information about the project and a summary of the finds, history of investigation and geological context. This information was derived directly from published and unpublished sources, with the results and conclusions based entirely on those of the authors. We recorded all surveys carried out in Greece with a particular focus on those with sites dated to the Palaeolithic and Mesolithic. We also recorded all Neolithic sites discovered or reinvestigated through field survey, and all chronological phases for those sites selected for inclusion. The purpose of the resource is to provide researchers investigating the distribution of field survey projects and sites in Greece, a first port of call in their search for distributions and sources of information. With the search options users set their own criteria and investigate the distribution of surveys and sites throughout Greece. The resource is currently undergoing an update (2010) with new mapping and download facilities as well as the addition of new surveys and sites. This work has been funded by the Institute for Aegean Prehistory (INSTAP) and we are extremely grateful for their support.
Access to digital resource:  
Open Access
Data Formats created: 
Metadata standards employed: 
Keyhole Markup Language (KML)
Gamble, Clive., Paraskevi Elefanti, and Gilbert Marshall. 2010. The Prehistoric Stones of Greece: A resource of archaeological surveys and sites. Antiquity Project Gallery.

Marshall, Gilbert., Paraskevi Elefanti, and Clive Gamble. In Prep. The distribution of Palaeolithic and Mesolithic sites in Greece: The pattern based on the distribution of surface finds.

Institutions affiliated with this project: 

UK HE institutions involved:
Royal Holloway
University of London
Other institutions involved:
British School at Athens

Project staff and expertise: 

Principal staff member:Professor Clive Gamble, Dr Paraskevi Elefanti, Dr Gilbert Marshall
Other staff:Postdoctoral researcher(s) / Research assistant(s)
External expertise:Advisory Committee; Professor John Cherry, Brown University; Professor Curtis Runnels, Boston University; Doctor Eleni Panagopoulou, Deputy Director of the Ephoria of Palaeoanthropolgy and Speleology of Southern Greece; Doctor Michalis Fotiadis, Department of History and Archaeology, University of Ioannina; Doctor Stelios Andreou, Department of History and Archaeology, University of Thessaloniki

Metadata on this record
Author(s) of recordGilbert Marshall
TitleThe Prehistoric Stones of Greece: a resource from field-survey
Record created2010-07-16
Record updated2010-07-16 13:32
URL of record
Citation of recordGilbert Marshall: The Prehistoric Stones of Greece: a resource from field-survey. <> created: 2010-07-16, last updated 2010-07-16 13:32
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