Field Survey in Thrace

Location: Edirne, Tekirdağ, and Kırklareli Provinces

Years: 2007-2009

Director: James Crow, Derya Maktav, S. Turner

Participants: Celal Kolay, Irfan Akar, Başak Geze, Dolunay Uysıl, Cihan Uysıl, Riley Snyder, Zeynep Kızıltan

Government Representatives: Günay Karakaş (2008), Ahyan Saltik (2009)



A field survey was conducted in Thrace in connection to the work done on Constantinople’s water supply system.  The project was undertaken jointly, in collaboration with Istanbul Technical University.  They used new technology (such as satellite and digital map data) in order to create a more accurate digital terrain model that would assist in researching the water supply systems in the region. 

In 2007 and 2008, they were hoping to understand how helpful remote sensing satellite images could be in investigating ancient landscapes; specifically, the Silivri region was studied, and Historic Landscape Characterisation technique was employed.  The survey revealed some land patterns from before the time the agro-fields were created, and in some places features could be dated to the Medieval period.  A Roman structure was even located near Fener village, as well as a few tumuli.  GPS and GIS technologies assisted in further locating and recording features relating to Constantinople’s water supply structures.  Field studies were undertaken, and water channels were followed on foot, with the changes in channel width being noted, and sources of springs located.  Three bridges dating to the fifth century AD were discovered and their measurements were taken using a GPS receiver.

In 2009 field visits were made, and work was done in the GIS lab in ITU’s department of Remote Sensing.  Orthophotos and satellite images of the Anastasian Wall were used to understand the terrain better, and the line of the Wall.  The GPS coordinates taken previously were verified on foot, and the wall and some of its features were traced for quite a distance. 


Anatolian Archaeology 14: 15-16; 15: 14


Crow, J. 2007: ‘The Anastasian Wall and the Danube frontier in the sixth century’ in L. Vagalinski (ed.), The Lower Danube in Antiquity (the Fifth Century BC – the Beginning of the Seventh Century AD). Tutrakan, Bulgaria: 397-410

Crow, J., Bardill, J., Bayliss, R. 2008: The Water Supply of Byzantine Constantinople (JRS Monograph 11). London

Maktav, D., Crow, J. et al. 2009: ‘Integration of remote sensing and GIS for archaeological investigations, a case study from Turkish Thrace’ International Journal of Remote Sensing 30/7: 1–11 

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Archaeology and Related Disciplines

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