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Decoding the Milesian Agro-Pastoral Economy from Above: Remote Sensing and Metrology

An Anatolian Studies Virtual Seminar with Toby Wilkinson and Anja Slawisch

March 30, 2021

British Institute at Ankara, Tahran Caddesi 24, Kavaklıdere, 06700 Ankara (10 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH)

Satellite and aerial images of the Milesian peninsula have allowed the mapping of a large number of apparently ancient linear features across the landscape, relics of agro-economic field systems, possibly established during the Archaic, Hellenistic or late antique periods, and perhaps used for centuries after, before the economic decline of the region in the second millennium AD. While earlier survey work has noted the existence of terracing and rural divisions at certain points in the landscape, the new remote-sensing data have provided an unprecedented large-scale insight into the extent and variety of forms of division. In addition to documenting the stripping of macquis overgrowth by modern farming practices, which has exposed these ancient landscapes but also poses a threat to their preservation. The extent of the linear features suggests a high degree of land use on the peninsula at certain points in the past. Further investigation of these important features has the potential to provide critical insights into the economic history of rural and urban Miletos over the last 2,000 to 5,000 years.

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Issue 62, 2021 Travellers’ Tales
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