Non-invasive surveying of the archaeological resource potential in the Bobolice region, West Pomeranian Voivodeship

Working as an archaeologists at University can have many faces. The current need to combine different areas of interests can result in fascinating working in grants that touch vide and detailed areas of knowledge and a joy to work with a lot of specialists .The one I am coordinated and I would like to report shortly is actually conducted by Institute of Prehistory of Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland (2014-2015).

The problem of archaeological site identification is a significant issue in the development of research in both archaeology and the field of conservation where the goal is to protect and manage archaeological heritage. The Non-invasive surveying of the archaeological resource potential in the Bobolice region, West Pomeranian Voivodeship project concerns research involving comprehensive use of the latest non-invasive technologies in archaeology in order to identify, verify and conduct an inventory of archaeological sites in the Bobolice region (West Pomeranian Voivodeship), Poland.

The project integrates several field prospection methods in order to create a comprehensive inventory of the area under investigation. Data on archaeological sites are gathered using five basic methods: (1) airborne laser scanning measurements (LIDAR) based on data from ISOK (IT System of the Country’s Protection against extreme hazards); (2) analysis of satellite images of selected areas; (3) aerial survey; (4) verifying field-walking prospection; (5) geophysical survey of selected archaeological sites.

Archaeological survey encounters a major problem in the Bobolice region as a lot of the surface area forested. The application of other prospection methods which allow better detection of the archaeological resources is particularly useful in the case of forested areas. Airborne laser scanning (ALS) within the ISOK framework,  makes it possible to penetrate wooded zones systematically. Thanks to this method it will be possible to identify and mark the precise location of archaeological sites and features in a given area, to determine the context in which they have been found, the state of preservation and any possible threats.

The research conducted so far led to a positive confirmation of existing and already known archaeological sites and structures – mainly settlements of the early Middle Ages (including Górawino, Kurowo, Bobrowo, Głodowa). In addition, it allowed us to identify a number of unknown archaeological sites, located in the forests , including several extensive clusters of stone and earthen mounds – burial barrows, often destroyed, and different stone constructions and pavements.

This project is innovative in its methodological  (scientific-technological) and analytical approach. Analysis of the data acquired via the various prospection methods applied will lead to consideration of how effective these methods are whilst taking both their potential and limitations into account. It will also focus attention on the fact that these methods must be integrated in order to gain a comprehensive interpretation of the area and help create appropriate conditions for the promotion of this type of practice within archaeological milieux. It seems the effectiveness of the proposed methods and the benefits emerging from their integration is significant in shaping conservation policies (conservation aims), knowledge about the past (educational aims) and in disseminating information on archaeological resources. It is also a fundamental point in raising awareness of the need to protect archaeological heritage and  of its economic value regarding regional tourism development (promotional aims).

The project is financed by Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of Poland and coordinated by National Heritage Board of Poland.

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