Unlocking historic landscapes in the eastern Mediterranean

Jim Crow, Sam Turner, 2010

Data copyright © Prof Jim Crow, Sam Turner unless otherwise stated

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Sam Turner
Newcastle University
School of History, Classics and Archaeology
Newcastle University
Newcastle upon Tyne

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Jim Crow, Sam Turner (2010) Unlocking historic landscapes in the eastern Mediterranean [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] https://doi.org/10.5284/1000119

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This research took steps towards unlocking the history of Mediterranean landscapes by the application of proven methodologies pioneered in British landscape studies. We mapped and analysed the historic landscape of terraces, fields, lanes and rural settlements that are typical of the eastern Mediterranean, and attempted to understand them in their historical contexts.

The project studied the historic landscape of the Aegean through the analysis of two rural areas. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) provided a tool for combining and comparing diverse datasets such as orthorectified aerial photographs, satellite data and digital mapping. In particular, we used Historic Landscape Characterisation to provide a framework for integrated diachronic landscape histories incorporating data from relevant historical and archaeological sources at a range of scales.


  • to understand the changing historic landscape in two Aegean case-studies
  • to demonstrate the applicability of Historic Landscape Characterisation (HLC) for Mediterranean landscapes


  • to adapt and use the HLC method in the eastern Mediterranean
  • to map historic landscape character in two case-study areas
  • to identify the principal periods of landscape change in each area since the late Roman period
  • to produce print and online publications to disseminate the results of the research


  • to undertake GIS-based HLCs of 2 study areas each of 200 km2 (study areas: Naxos, Greece and Silivri, Thrace, Turkey)
  • To make comparisons of the long-term social and economic histories of the landscapes of the study areas and to analyse similarities and differences in their trajectories towards today's historic landscapes

Our publications relating to the project include:

Turner, S. and J. Crow, 2010. 'Unlocking historic landscapes in the eastern Mediterranean: two pilot studies using historic landscape characterisation', Antiquity 84 (323), 216-229.

Crow, J. and S. Turner, 2009. 'Silivri and the Thracian hinterland of Istanbul: an historic landscape', Anatolian Studies 59, 167-181.

and the project's own website