DOCUMENTING ANCIENT THRESHING FLOORS AS PART OF OUR TANGIBLE/INTANGIBLE CULTURAL HERITAGE FROM ARCHIVE AERIAL PHOTOS: A CASE STUDY IN CYPRUS
- School of Spatial Planning and Development, Faculty of Engineering, Aristotle University, Thessaloniki, 54124, Greece
Keywords: photointerpretation, threshing floors, GIS, archival aerial photographs, tangible and intangible cultural heritage, photogrammetry
Abstract. Threshing floors are common cultural features of the Mediterranean agricultural landscape and have been used from antiquity until some decades ago to thresh grains. Therefore, they constitute an integral part of our tangible and intangible cultural heritage as they are constructions that are linked with complex relationships between crops, technology, folklore, local materials and traditions from our ancestors. However, today, threshing floors are obsolete and destroyed almost everywhere due to modern development and very little attention has been given by archaeologists to these important cultural features. The identification and recording of ancient activity areas such as threshing floors is an important part of archaeological research contributing to the reconstruction of past ways of life and to the preservation of inherited traditions from the past. Access to historical archives of aerial photographs provide a high-quality photographic record, offering considerable potential in detecting ancient threshing floors that do not exist anymore because they have been buried in the course of time or destroyed. This study was conducted to deploy a methodology that deals with the identification of ancient threshing floors and their remains in the island of Cyprus through photo interpretation, by utilizing archival aerial imagery in combination with supplement ethnoarchaeological information.