Field season 2017
This first reconnaissance activity in the area gave priority to: a) the systematic aerial survey of the site, b) the survey of the area immediately to the northeast of the church of Timios Stavros, and c) the scanning of selected buildings using a terrestrial laser scanning.
- Remote Sensing
Due to the steepness of this mountainous locality, which makes parts of the site hardly accessible, the use the remote sensing method is reasonable at a strategic level, permitting an overview of the landscape. Aerial survey was undertaken in the site using Remote Piloted Aerial System in order to: a) consider landscape settings and features of the micro-topography, b) define and delimit the site, and c) document the internal architectural features on the top of Mount Oxa. This method was coupled with the traditional aerial photography through the use of a four-seat airplane, which was hired for this purpose by the Aeroclub of Heraklion. Aerial survey allow us to produce of high resolution color and NearInfraRed (NIR) orthophotos.
2. Surface survey
The survey-area on the summit of Mount Oxa was divided into smaller zones. Due to the mountainous character of the location and the steepness of its terrain, it was impossible to establish a grid system over the site, and thus each one of these zones designed taking into account the geomorphology of the region. Two research areas (zone 1 and 2) were delimited immediately to the northeast of the church of Timios Stavros. Diagnostic sherds collected and recorded with the use of a hand-held RTK-GPS unit. The highest percentage of this ceramic material consisted of fragments from globular amphorae dated to the Byzantine period.
3. Topographic and architectural survey
Particular emphasis was given to surveying the visible architectural structures with the use of a hand-held RTK-GPS unit. The plans of the identified structures was accurately mapped and documented in order to be integrated into the Geographic Information System (GIS). Targeted cleaning of architectural structures from the vegetation was carried out to maximize the results of the photographic and architectural documentation.
The church of Timios Stavros, two cisterns and a small segment of the fortification were scanned using a terrestrial laser scanning in order to generate 3D topographic models. Upon completion of the scans processing, architectural imprints will be added to the digital terrain model (DTM), which will result from photogrammetry and will be integrated into the Geographic Information System.