Transect Survey

Fieldwalking in the Tamassos plain, with the Kyrenia mountains in the background.
(Photograph: Karen Ulrich)

In five seasons SCSP walked some 92 km of survey transects, which for the most part were 50 m wide, and were composed of units no more than 100 m long. These transects were surveyed at 5 m spacing between fieldwalkers.

Our aims in walking these transects were:

  • to build up a large body of artifactual and ecofactual data representing our entire survey area, for subsequent GIS analysis.

  • to investigate a representative sample of different geological and topographic zones within the survey area.

  • to discover Special Interest Areas and Places of Special Interest for further investigation.

The basic element which made up survey transects (and also block surveys) was the survey unit. In uncultivated ground units were 25 m wide, corresponding to five fieldwalkers walking 5 m apart. Units were defined at their beginning and end by geomorphological and topographical divisions such as a break in slope, a significant change in vegetation, or a gully line. If no such division was apparent, the unit would be ended after 100 m, even if there were no artefacts. The outline of the unit was drawn on the field sheet, and later digitised into our GIS.

Within each survey unit, we recorded a range of locational, environmental and archaeological information. Teams collected a representative sample of cultural materials: pottery, chipped stone, ground stone, metals, slag, ores and fluxes, glass, and tiles. All other, mainly non-diagnostic, material was counted.