Geological model for regional evaluation of probability of locating archaeological sites and their preservation potential (WP1)

Marine geological investigations are essential to develop a model describing the palaeogeographical and depositional environments in the selected study areas. GEUS has substantial experience in investigating the postglacial geological development of the Baltic Sea region. The study will be deployed in the initial phase of the project to reconstruct the palaeo-landscape and to build a geological model of the Baltic target site. Existing information from this multi-disciplinary field will include seismic, sedimentological, biostratigraphic and AMS C-14 dating data, which will be collated. Based on these data the changing geological environments, as well as the palaeogeography, will be reconstructed with respect to sedimentary conditions and water level fluctuations that occurred in the course of the various postglacial lake stages, as well as regional sea level changes.


On the basis of the geological model it will be possible to optimise the process of selecting the target region ideal for non-destructive down-scaling studies, spanning from regional satellite scanning of theoretical optimal target coastal areas, detailed multibeam echosounder and shallow seismic surveying of selected target areas to 3D-seismic investigations of identified archaeological target sites.
All data will be applicable to GIS presentation, interpretation and modelling of the physical appearance of the archaeological sites. The GIS will be custom made for input of hydrodynamic and sediment regime data for evaluation of site stability and preservation status.


Similarly, the University of Patras (UPAT) has for decades in cooperation with the Finnish Institute at Athens, University of Peloponnesus, Hellenic Institute of Marine Archaeology (IENAE) and Ephorate of Underwater Archaeology of Greece (Hellenic Ministry Of Culture and Tourism) carried out marine- geological investigations in Greek waters focusing on palaeo coastal morphology in archaeological sites of Greece (Cape Sounio, Poros and Dokos Islands, Killini, Neapoli). UPAT has experience in investigating ancient submerged archaeological sites and reconstructing the coastal palaeogeography in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Aegean shorelines usually are characterized by rocky and narrow (and steep) coasts with low sediment accumulation rates. Today most of the prehistoric and historic coastal settlements (harbour and cities) in Aegean Sea, lie underwater due to postglacial transgression, local tectonics and intense coastal dynamics.

Cape Sounion. Submerged tower under the naval base
Submerged remains on the bay of Sounion

These models will be supplemented with input from partners 8 (RCE) The Cultural Heritage Agency of the Netherlands. RCE has a long standing tradition in researching the seabed with the help of other (governmental) institutes such as Rijkswaterstaat. Their previous works have resulted in large scale and small scale models published within the EU- Culture 2000 project MACHU. Within SASMAP the models will be combined to produce maps of individual archaeological value and potential, which will be incorporated into the existing MACHU GIS. The final product will provide the basis for improved decision making when planning subsea development or investigating and preserving known sites in situ.