In 2020-2021, as part of the DFG/ANR-funded research project "Forms of Life in the Megapolis: Miletus in the Longue Durée", the documentation system was fundamentally renewed by excavation staff and adapted to modern standards and working methods. Digital data is now collected in the iDAI.field- database client developed by the German Archaeological Institute. The new documentation system is currently available in German, English and French. In addition to the new forms and methods, we have produced a manual to explain the Milesian system and make it transparent. In this way, researchers can assess our results against the background of our methodology. We offer the forms and the manual in German and English under the DOI 10.25592/uhhfdm.10029.
When citing the handbook, please be sure to include the version number and DOI:
L. Steinmann - S. Huy - F. Sliwka - D. Göçmen - N. Lordoğlu - J. Zurbach - C. Berns, Miletus Documentation Manual: Surveying, Forms, Find Processing and Database-Usage, v.2.0 (Hamburg 2023) <https://doi.org/10.25592/uhhfdm.11389>
L. Steinmann - S. Huy - F. Sliwka - D. Göçmen - N. Lordoğlu - J. Zurbach - C. Berns, Miletus Dokumentationshandbuch. Vermessung, Formulare, Fundbearbeitung und Datenbankverwendung, v.2.0 (Hamburg 2023) <https://doi.org/10.25592/uhhfdm.11389>
Photo: Miletus Excavation
The Milesian documentation system since 1989
In 1989, under the directorship of Volkmar von Graeve, the documentation system of the Miletus excavation was transformed from the recording of observations in diaries and notes, which had been widespread in classical archaeology until then, into an elaborate system consisting of several forms and methods in which sites, stratigraphy and localisation could be recorded precisely and in great detail. The system of find- and inventory-numbers, which is still in use today, was developed along with this system. It consists of the abbreviation of the find area (e.g. HU for Humeitepe), the year of the excavation and the section and find numbers. The now old documentation system already contained forms intended for the evaluation of survey data and the statistical recording of finds, and was used in combination with a database and the visualisation of data in CAD software. This system has since been in use in the context of the Miletus excavation and has been expanded and updated several times, as well as adapted by various other excavations.
As part of the work on the research project "Forms of Life in the Megapolis: Miletus in the Longue Durée" (MegaMil), a renewal of the system became necessary, as the requirements for the documentation of excavations had changed considerably with new documentation methods (e.g. digital image data, 3D recordings and modern surveying) and the increasing use of computer technology. Due to the complex interaction of many forms and archiving methods, a manual was written in this context to explain the use of the documentation forms and at the same time to give advice on the methodology of processing finds. Also included are aids to the chronology used, to surveying, and to research data management.
- R. Senff, Milet 1992–1993. Stand des Einsatzes von CAD in der Grabungsdokumentation, AA 1995, 1995, 204–208
- V. Brinkmann, Grabungsdokumentation und Miletarchiv auf CD-ROM, AA 1995, 1995, 203–204
- R. Senff, Milet. Die archaische Stadt. Die Ausgrabungen in den Wohngebieten und den städtischen Heiligtümern 1899 - 2001. Baugeschichte und Stratigraphie (Habilitation Ruhr-Universität Bochum 2002), 10-26