Archaeological Visibility at Stélida, Naxos: Identifying Activity Hubs at a Palaeolithic Chert Quarry in the Cyclades

Author(s): Tristan Carter; Sean Doyle; Daniel Contreras

Year: 2015


This paper details the methodology used by the Stélida Naxos Archaeological Project (SNAP) to distinguish primary activity areas within a Palaeolithic chert quarry. This work is undertaken in a challenging artifact-rich landscape that has undergone significant post-depositional modification through various environmental factors and anthropogenic disturbance.

The two-year non-invasive survey involved walking numerous transect lines to produce a broad-stroke impression of artifact density, which were followed by intensive grid collections in recognized ‘hot-spots’. This strategy was supplemented by grab samples of key diagnostic pieces discovered outside of the standardized collection units. Chert outcrops were mapped and sampled to gauge variability in the raw materials. Degree of slope and vegetation cover were recorded throughout, together with noting ‘artifact trap’ locations such as historic terrace walls and donkey paths, along with all instances of human disturbance including bulldozed tracks, clay pits, and buildings.

These systematically documented data are then interrogated using GIS weighted overlay tools and other spatial analysis techniques in an attempt to analyse post-depositional effects and map areas of Lower and Middle Palaeolithic activity (quarrying, tool production). The paper offers some preliminary conclusions, and charts alternative and supplementary techniques that will be employed in the future.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit for instructions and more information.

Cite this Record

Archaeological Visibility at Stélida, Naxos: Identifying Activity Hubs at a Palaeolithic Chert Quarry in the Cyclades. Sean Doyle, Tristan Carter, Daniel Contreras. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397264)


Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;