Course on archaeological investigation techniques and methodologies

Corso sulle tecniche e metodologie di indagine archeologica

As part of the activities of capacity building and training on the job of the staff of High Commission for Erbil Citadel Revitalization (HCECR), provided by MAE-Sapienza, University of Rome Cooperation Project "course on archaeological investigation techniques and methodologies the first part of the course on archaeological investigation techniques and methodologies was held in June 2013.

The first part has been dedicated to present the main techniques of geophysical prospecting and the main physic, chemical and mineralogical analysis used in archaeology.

The course, which lasted three weeks, for a total of 48 hours of theoretical lectures and practice sessions, has been implemented by the Department of Classics of Sapienza University of Rome and by MAE with the cooperation of TERR. A.IN Snc. The course was attended by 6 members of the HCECR staff.

Lessons and survey activities were carried out by Luca Colliva, archaeologist of Sapienza, University of Rome, by the geologists Carlo Breganze, Giolj F. Guidi, Diego Peraccini (Terr. A.In Snc.) and by the engineer Giuseppe Mainardi (Terr. A.In Snc.).
During practice sessions a series of geophysical surveys with the electrical resistivity tomography (2D ERT) of and seismic refraction tomography techniques was carried out. These prospecting continue and enrich the data previously obtained during the Georadar (GPR) survey carried out in 2010 as part of the MAE-IsIAO Cooperation Project "Protection of cultural heritage of the Kurdish region in Iraq".

The geophysical surveys have provided a complete section of the main road (Main Street) that cuts the Erbil Citadel from north to south and of two cross streets (approximately oriented in the direction E-O) selected for its proximity to some significant anomalies highlighted during a first reading of the N-S section data.

The total length of the sections is above 1000 meters and the surveys have reached, in the deepest parts, a deepness of about 30 m. from the surface, providing valuable information on the stratigraphy of the Citadel. In particular a layer of higher resistivity and some interesting anomalies in the deeper levels of the reached stratigraphy have been identified.

The processing will be placed on the recent topographic map of the citadel, realized in collaboration with Studio 3R s.a.s. during the training activities on topographic surveying.

Although still in a preliminary phase of study, the information obtained from the surveys confirm the hypotheses concerning the richness and complexity of archaeological stratigraphy of the tell and the presence of anomalies significant for both dimension and depth show how the Citadel of Erbil still hides many archaeological treasures.

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