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Geophysical Field School




geophysfs_clip_image006The Bronze Age and Early Iron Age site of Mitrou is a small tidal islet located off the coast of Tragana in East Lokris, on the North Euboean Gulf. In its present state, the islet has a surface area of 3.6 ha. Archaeological remains are strewn over the entire surface and continue in the sea to the east and west of the islet. The archaeological excavation and survey of Mitrou is a joint undertaking by the Greek Archaeological Service and the University of Tennessee, supported by the American School of Classical Studies at Athens.

The islet is ideal for archaeological prospection and several extended projects have been carried out so far. Almost all geophysical methods have found successful application and subsequent excavations revealed the concealed structures that had created the geophysical anomalies. Because of its excellent natural conditions and the close cooperation between geophysicists and archaeologists, the site is particularly suitable for training students. It is also located in one of the most picturesque areas of central Greece.

Scope and Aims

geophysfs_clip_image019The Mitrou geophysical field school will provide theoretical instruction as well as practical training in all major geophysical methods applied in archaeological research. Principles, theory, and practical issues related to each method will be presented and discussed. On the job training will be provided at the archaeological site of Mitrou. Emphasis will be put on swift conduct of routine surveys as well as the immediate processing of the data and discussion of the results. Close attention will be paid to clarifying misconceptions and assessing the real merits and drawbacks of each method.

geophysfs_clip_image008In addition to learning routine methods, students will be introduced to cutting-edge techniques such as the use of Ground Penetrating Radar and 2- or 3-dimensional subsurface imaging by means of electrical resistivity tomography (ERT). The employment of the ERT method for large-scale surveys will be discussed and a practical scheme to collect tomographic data along with the traditional 2-D resistance survey data will be presented. This scheme significantly reduces the effort and time required to carry out a large-scale ERT survey. A practical guide will be given for the production of acceptable and reliable full 3-D tomographic images simultaneously with 2-D data.

geophysfs_clip_image021Furthermore, specific problems of archaeological research will be addressed, such as indoors surveying, exploring the interior of walls and standing monuments, locating tombs inside tumuli, etc.

Students also will be introduced into related methods such as G.I.S. and the interpretation of aerial photography and satellite images.

It is the goal of the organizers that at the end of the field school students will be capable of carrying out routine geophysical surveys and evaluating the potential and limitations of each method with respect to the site of application.

geophysfs_clip_image004 geophysfs_clip_image017

Supporting Institutions

  • Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Laboratory of Exploration Geophysics
  • Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, School of Classics
  •  University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • University of Bari
  • ID’ Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities at Lamia (Greek Archaeological Service)
  • American School of Classical Studies at Athens
  •  Laboratory of Geophysical – Satellite Remote Sensing & Archaeo-environment of the Institute for Mediterranean Studies (I.M.S.) / Foundation of Research & Technology (F.O.R.T.H.)
  • Consiglio Nationale delle Ricerche (Istituto per le Technologia Applicate ai Beni Culturali)
  • College-Year-in-Athens: registration and transcripts


  • Gregory Baker (University of Tennessee – Ground Penetrating Radar)
  • Marcello Ciminale (University of Bari – Magnetometry, aerial photography)
  • Michel Dabas (Geocarta, Paris – Automated magnetic and resistance measurements)
  •  Christopher Gaffney (Remote Vision Research, Bradford – Survey logistics)
  • Magnetometry and verification  through archaeological excavation)
  • Luciana Orlando (University “La Sapienza”, Rome – Resistivity Tomography)
  • Salvatore Piro  (Consiglio Nationale delle Ricerche, Rome – Ground Penetrating Radar)
  • Apostolos Sarris (IMS, FORTH, Chania-GIS – Aerial photography, magnetic susceptibility)
  • Resistance mapping, non-destructive ERT surveying)
  • Panagiotis I. Tsourlos (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki – 3-D Resistivity Tomography)
  • George Vargemezis (Aristotle University of Thessaloniki – Resistance mapping)
  • Aleydis Van de Moortel (University of Tennessee – Evaluation of geophysical results)


geophysfs_clip_image023Two to three hours of lectures on the fundamental and advanced theory and practice of Archaeological Prospection, held every day (weekend excluded).

Five to six hours of field training and practice every day.

Weekend: field trip to Athens

Travelling and Accommodation

The village of Tragana, where Mitrou is located, is situated on the National Highway about 1½ hours north of the Athens airport. Students are advised to fly into Athens, although it is also possible to fly into Thessaloniki and take the bus to Tragana (ca. 6 hours). More detailed directions will be provided after registration.

Students share rented rooms in the village of Tragana. The village has a lovely beach, a mini-post office, payphones, cafes, restaurants, bakery, convenience stores, souvlaki place, and very friendly people.


Tuition will be $3,400. This will cover room and board as well as most field school travel, but does not include travel to or from Greece or personal expenses.


The Mitrou geophysical field school is open to students and professionals from various disciplines ranging from archaeologists to earth scientists and engineers. Anyone who wishes to acquire a thorough insight in the use of geophysics for detecting and mapping concealed antiquities is welcome to apply.

Click to download Geophysical Field School Application . Applications are due no later than 15 February, 2008.

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