Sikyon survey project

The 2005 season

Geophysical research

Map of geophysical survey in the ancient Agora.

The Laboratory of Geophysical-Satellite Remote Sensing & Archaeo-environment of the Institute for Mediterranean Studies continued geophysical prospections in the area of the ancient agora during the second half of June.

The team covered an area of 9320 m2, situated east of the temple and north of the southern stoa. The whole region was surveyed through measurements of the vertical magnetic gradient and soil resistance. The area of the three-aisled basilica which was discovered in 2004, was investigated through electrical tomography and ground penetrating radar (GPR).

The latter method was able to provide an accurate image of the stratigraphy of the particular structure. According to the GPR data, the architectural relics of the basilica are limited within a depth of no more than 1.5-1.6m below ground surface. Furthermore, there are indications that there is more than one construction phases. The above results were verified through the application of the electrical tomography technique. The two methods combined were able to produce a three-dimensional model of the basilica.

Results of GPR investigations conducted over the area of the basilica.

The magnetic and soil resistance measurements which covered the rest of the area suggest that architectural remnants occupy most of the ancient agora. Contrary to the 2004 survey results, it is evident that the majority of these structures lack a consistent orientation. Given that the layout of the ancient city followed a grid oriented to the four cardinal points (N-S, E-W), these traces probably represent bases of dedications or altars, hero shrines, and similar monuments that Pausanias saw within the ancient agora, or else belong to later structures which may have cluttered the agora in post-antique times. These two possibilities are not mutually exclusive and only future excavation can clarify the case.