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Sphakia Survey: The Internet Edition

Teaching area

Welcome to the Teaching area of the Sphakia Internet Edition.

The teaching area has four sections:

If you would like to discuss matters relating to the Sphakia Survey with other users, please go to the Discussion Board.


Guided Pathways

The home page of this site gives basic guidance about the structure of the site. For more information see /websiteindex.html

Before tackling the case study you should read our brief introduction to the project, and then our preliminary articles from 1988, 1989 and 1990, republished here with illustrations. These will give you the necessary background information. The following introduction explains the rationale of the case study and its uses at schools and universities. Then go to the questions. These begin with a worked-out example which serves as an introduction to the various databases. For more guidance about how to use the databases, go to the Help section.

Technical Guide to Users

You need to ensure that you (or your students) have ready access to a computer with a reasonably up-to-date web browser, Internet Explorer versions above 4.01 for preference, or failing that Netscape 4.0 or above. . Visit the UK Mirror web site to download up-to-date versions of either browser. Non UK users may wish to go directly to the Microsoft or Netscape web sites. Obviously, the web site works fastest on an ethernet connection, but it does still work over a modem. This is a graphically-rich site and if you are using a slow modem (e.g. 14.4 or 28.8 Kbps or Kilobytes Per Second ) you may wish to view the pages with the option not to view images immediately (you select this option in your web browser), and then view the images selectively when required.


Case Study

The web site includes a Case Study of Graeco-Roman activity in Region 8 of Sphakia.

Why this case study?

We have devised this case study to enable students and others to explore our data at various levels. You can find out from the Site Database how many sites with a Prehistoric phase are known in Sphakia, or you can find out how many sites with a religious function there are (either within one epoch, or across all three of our epochs). The Site Database does not present the supporting evidence to show why we think that a particular site has a Prehistoric phase, or has a religious function. That evidence is mostly reserved for publication in book form (go to the Book section).

Region 8

We present here the detailed evidence for one of the eight regions of the Survey (For an account of the eight regions go to Regions). We selected Region 8 because it (along with Region 4) is a region that is coherent evidentially and because it includes a site (Agiasmatsi, 8.61) to which we have devoted a separate publication (listed in Other articles and publications).

Graeco-Roman Epoch

The Survey has divided its chronological coverage into three epochs: Prehistoric ( ca 3500 BC - 1050 BC); Graeco-Roman (ca 1050 BC - AD 700); and Byzantine-Venetian-Turkish (ca AD 700- 1900). The Region 8 case study includes the evidence for only one of these epochs, the Graeco-Roman. We selected this epoch for various reasons: the finds analysis is complete; the finds constitute coherent assemblages; and they are likely to be of most interest to most students. Ceramics and Small Finds Databases The Ceramics and the Small Finds databases give full information about all the Graeco-Roman pottery and small finds from Region 8. The Site Catalogue includes our analyses of all the sites in Region 8.



This web site will be useful to students at various levels, both at schools and at universities. It offers a good example of the methods and possible results obtainable from archaeological field survey. Field survey is the principle technique of landscape archaeology in Greece and the Mediterranean.


There are opportunities to use the site in relation to the new syllabus for the JACT Classical Civilization A-level, which includes two modules in Archaeology at AS level and one at A2 level. The first (Module 2744), 'Approaches to Classical Archaeology', includes field survey. For details of the syllabus see: http://www.ocr.org.uk/develop/classics/clcivsyl.pdf.


This web site has great potential in relation to archaeology courses involving the study of settlement patterns or landscape history. For example, in the Oxford context, it is relevant to undergraduate and graduate papers on 'Cities and Settlement in the Roman Empire' and 'Landscape Archaeology in the Greek and Roman World'. It is also relevant to more general archaeological papers. Again to take Oxford examples: there are general papers in Archaeology and Anthropology which include Survey ('The Nature of Archaeological Enquiry' and 'Approaches to Material Evidence') and a period paper 'The Late Bronze Age in the Aegean'. These examples have their parallels in numerous departments in the UK, Canada and the States.

On-line assignments

An example of the sort of use we envisage would be as follows. A tutor setting an assignment for a tutorial on settlement patterns in the Roman empire would ask the student(s) to access the Sphakia Survey web-site and answer the following question: 'Evaluate the contribution of survey archaeology to our understanding of the lower levels of the settlement hierarchy.' Or a student working on landscape archaeology could be asked to manipulate the pottery database to investigate the correlations between different types of sites and different types of pottery. Students would also be able to use the database to investigate distribution patterns, e.g. of amphora types.


In the Region 8 Case Study section we give some questions which can be asked of the data. They fall under the following main headings:

  1. Agiasmatsi (a specific site in Region 8)
  2. Domestic assemblages
  3. Beehives
  4. Imported Pottery
  5. Fabrics of Pottery
  6. Region 8 Sites: function, size and location
  7. Regions: similarities and differences with Region 8.


Other learning and teaching resources

For introductions to archaeological field survey and landscape history see:

Alcock, Susan E. 1993. 'Graecia Capta. The Landscapes of Roman Greece', Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Alcock, Susan E. 1994. Breaking up the Hellenistic world: Survey and society, in Ian Morris (ed.), 'Classical Greece. Ancient Histories and Modern Archaeologies', Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 171-190
Barker, Graeme (ed) 1995. 'A Mediterranean Valley. Landscape Archaeology and Annales History in the Biferno Valley', Leicester: Leicester University Press, ch. 3
Cherry, John F. 1983. Frogs around the Pond: Perspectives on Current Archaeological Survey Projects in the Mediterranean Region, in Donald Keller and David Rupp (eds) 1983. 'Archaeological Survey in the Mediterranean', Oxford: British Archaeological Reports , International Series 155, 375-416
Osborne, Robin 1987. 'Classical Landscape with Figures', London: George Philip, chs 3 & 6
Renfrew, Colin and Paul Bahn 1996. 'Archaeology. Theories, Methods, and Practice', London: Thames and Hudson, ch. 3
Snodgrass, A.M. 1987. 'Archaeologies of Greece', Berkeley: University of California Press, ch. 3 and 4

For publications of other surveys (both on paper and on the net) which could be compared with the Sphakia Survey see:

Cherry, John, Jack Davis, & Eleni Mantzourani (eds) 1991. 'Landscape Archaeology as Long-Term History. Northern Keos in the Cycladic Islands', Los Angeles: UCLA, ch. 2
Cherry, J.F., J.L. Davis and E. Mantzouurani 1996. 'The Nemea Valley Archaeological Project Archaeological Survey Internet Edition'. http://classics.lsa.umich.edu/NVAP.html
Davis, J.L. et al. 1997. 'The Pylos Regional Archaeological Project: Internet Edition'. http://classics.lsa.umich.edu/PRAP.html
Davis, J.L. and M.M. Korkuti 1998. 'The Mallakastra Regional Archaeological Project' [in Albania]. http://river.blg.uc.edu/mrap/MRAP.html
Jameson, Michael, Curt Runnels, and Tjeerd van Andel (eds) 1994.' A Greek Countryside. The Southern Argolid from Prehistory to the Present Day', Stanford: Stanford University Press, ch. 4.2
Malone, Caroline & Simon Stoddart (eds) 1994. Territory, Time, & State. The archaeological development of the Gubbio Basin. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press


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