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THE  PREHISTORIC SETTLEMENTS  ON  TSOUNGIZA AT  ANCIENT NEMEA

Multimedia Publication

pages updated May 2, 2000

PROJECT  INTRODUCTION

by Prof. James C. Wright and Mary K. Dabney, Ph.Ds.

The Nemea Valley Archaeological Project (NVAP) is documenting and explaining the changing nature and extent of settlement and land use within a region of the northeast Peloponnesos of Greece.  A related goal is to study the interaction between the region and the outside world. NVAP is composed of geomorphological and ecological investigations, the study of historical archives, ethnoarchaeological and anthropological studies of recent settlement, intensive surface survey of archaeological remains, and archaeological excavation of prehistoric remains on the hill of Tsoungiza.  The results of this project are being coordinated with the results of the excavations of early Iron Age through Byzantine remains in the Sanctuary of Zeus at Nemea (1924-1997).  Documentation of human activity in the region spans the Late Paleolithic through Modern periods.  The project focuses on the environmental and social conditions which encouraged settlement and caused periods of abandonment.  It also explores when and why inhabitants of the region functioned autonomously or were incorporated within larger social systems.

Multimedia publication of NVAP has numerous advantages.  The large scope and interdisciplinary nature of the project created information (ranging from text and data to photographic images and drawings) which is not suited to the hierarchical, linear structure of a printed publication.  The large quantity of data and images generated is not economically reproducible in printed form, nor will all readers need to use all the available information.  From its beginning in 1984, NVAP's recording system was designed for and used computers.  With the availability of hypertext, image retrieval systems, and virtual reality, the Nemea Valley Archaeological Project is prepared to produce a multimedia publication that is accessible to many users at many levels.  To this end, NVAP has collaborated with LEARNING SITES, Inc., an educational and research company that specializes in the digital reconstruction of ancient worlds, to create a multimedia publication available on CD/DVD.

The first part of this publication presents the results of the excavation of the prehistoric settlement of Ancient Nemea on the hill of Tsoungiza.  This settlement contains remains from the Early Neolithic period (6th millennium BCE) through the end of the Late Bronze Age (ca. 1200 BCE).  Presented here is a sample of information concerning the Early Bronze Age settlement (roughly the entire 3rd millennium BCE).  Included are visualizations of the hillside at that time, different phases of the architectural remains (including a 3-D presentation of the large central Building A), and 3-D images of artifacts.  Descriptive and interpretive text and access to data archives are incorporated in the publication.  The presentation is organized so that everyone from the general public to the experienced researcher can easily follow pathways through the publication to information appropriate to the reader's level of interest.  Completion of the multimedia publication is projected for late 2000.

The Nemea Valley Archaeological Project (1984-1999) is directed by James C. Wright and sponsored by Bryn Mawr College under the auspices of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens. Support for the Project was provided by The National Endowment for the Humanities, The National Geographic Society, The Institute for Aegean Prehistory, the Hetty Goldman Fund of Bryn Mawr College, the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences, Florida State University, and private donors.

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