University of Southampton OCS (beta), CAA 2012

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Soil Erosion Risk Assessment near Archaeological Sites in Grevena, Northwestern Greece using the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) and GIS
Miki A Beavis

Last modified: 2011-12-21


Soil erosion at archaeological sites is a concern that affects artifact context and the preservation of archaeological sites. There has been little archaeological excavation work done in the northwestern Greek prefecture of Grevena. Between 1987 and 1994, the Grevena Archaeological Survey collected extensive survey data in this mountainous region. Field data indicates that erosion is a pervasive problem. Using a GIS (Geographic Information System), this study seeks to create a model of erosion risk across the northern portion of the Grevena prefecture surrounding the Leipsokouki catchement, where previous soil erosion work has been done (Doyle, R.B. 2004). The Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) model is used to spatially analyze erosion risk in proximity to archaeological sites. This model was developed from on newly available satellite imagery and elevation data. Although resolution of input data hinders the utility of the results of the study, this is a good example of the power of combined data. Erosion risk rates in this region range average ~93 t/ha/yr, a relatively high amount compared to neighboring surveys, suggesting further attention to the matter.


Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation, Pindus Mountains, archaeological sites, ARC/INFO, geographic information systems