Work Packages


WP1, WP2: Soil primary physical characteristics as a proxy for ancient movement
Centuries-long compaction by feet, draught animals, ovicaprids, and carts must have drastically, but also variably altered major soil characteristics when compared to immediately adjacent areas which did not get exposed to any systematic traffic. Moreover, these soil variations due to human activity have persisted after millennia -as suggested by historic CORONA imagery. In order to estimate the possible variations in ancient traffic, the methodology compares the soil structure of an ancient road with its neighbouring soil matrix. This framework makes it possible to fix other soil variables over short distances, and thus, reduces the level of pedological complexity. These characteristics can be studied with multispectral and radar sensors.

WP3: Sensor Fusion
Ancient traffic is approximated through the analysis of spectral indices, moisture content, and surface roughness; all of which require different satellite sensors for detection. Therefore, there is a need for integrating results into a single model. For this framework, GeoMOP works under the sensor fusion paradigm with the aim of obtaining more information than sensors provide in their individual sums. Data from various spectra can be statistically combined in such a way that the resulting model is more explanatory than any single sensor model.

WP4: Agent Based Model
Animals were the prime agents in the formation of hollow ways due to their weights and frequent movements. In the Agent Based Model, initial estimates of herd sizes are based on epigraphical evidence. Other numeric sources include multi-model simulation studies estimating optimal herd sizes. Like animals, human agents (e.g. farmers) constantly travelled between settlements and from settlements to pasture lands, contributing to the formation of hollow ways. Also, wheeled agents (carts and chariots) had varying designs, so must have exerted varying levels of pressure on soils. As for the mechanics, the ABM stochastically considers variations in herd sizes, animal species and ages. The model also considers farmers’ daily back-and-forth trips. Wheeled agents, carry surplus agricultural products in varying weights, contributing differences in structural characteristics of hollow ways.

WP5: Movement Praxis
Studying movement directly challenges fixed representations of ancient roads and adds the most necessary module to the landscapes of movement; the travelling agent. Therefore, it directly explores spatial ramifications of human action rather than simply considering the road as a container of events. Furthermore, the reconstruction of ancient traffic connects settlements to their outer landscapes; it transforms static readings of land-use and adds the human component to the environment.


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