Archaeological GIS of Northwestern Colchis: a tool for the preservation and research of historical and cultural heritage

DOI: 10.35595/2414-9179-2022-2-28-484-498

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About the Authors

Galina V. Trebeleva

Institute of Archaeology Russian Academy of Sciences,
Dm. Ulianova str., 19, 117292, Moscow, Russia;

Konstantin A. Glazov

Institute of Archaeology Russian Academy of Sciences,
Dm. Ulianova str., 19, 117292, Moscow, Russia;

Vladlen G. Yurkov

Institute of Archaeology Russian Academy of Sciences,
Dm. Ulianova str., 19, 117292, Moscow, Russia;

Andrey S. Kizilov

Federal Research Centre the Subtropical Scientific Centre of the Russian Academy of Sciences,
Yana Fabriziusa str., 2/28, 354002, Sochi, Russia;


The territory of Northwestern Colchis, which today includes both the territory of Abkhazia and the territory of Russia (the Greater Sochi region, Krasnodar Krai), in ancient times was the most important contact zone of many peoples, but has been poorly studied archaeologically. Therefore, full-fledged field research and the creation of a specialized GIS of this territory is an urgent problem. Currently, the territory of Northwestern Colchis is a rapidly developing resort region, which threatens the destruction of historical and cultural heritage sites by anthropogenic activities. The existing GIS today includes 1,780 monuments (dolmens, temples, fortresses, settlements, individual locations and burial grounds without architectural remains above the surface) in the form of point objects. But in recent years, with the development of technologies, orthophotoplanes and DEMs have been included in the GIS structure. Shooting from a UAV and including the obtained models in the GIS structure can solve two problems at once: displaying an archaeological monument in the form of a polygonal theme and obtaining detailed layers displaying landscape conditions. This data will significantly expand the capabilities of GIS. The technique of obtaining an orthophotoplan of an archaeological object was worked out during a series of experiments that helped to identify the basic principles for photogrammetric photography in conditions of dense subtropical vegetation. Another important layer in GIS is historical maps. Their analysis, taking into account the analysis of the semantics of toponymy, the analysis of settlement structures in GIS, and analogies with already known monuments, made it possible to localize a number of toponyms with a high degree of probability. In addition to the analysis of historical maps, the settlement structure itself was analyzed, the main clusters were identified, and a predictive model of the missing fortresses of the Pontic Limes was created.


geographic information systems, archaeological heritage protection, historical maps, archaeological monuments, photogrammetry, digital landscape models, settlement structures, toponyms


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For citation: Trebeleva G.V., Glazov K.A., Yurkov V.G., Kizilov A.S. Archaeological GIS of Northwestern Colchis: a tool for the preservation and research of historical and cultural heritage. InterCarto. InterGIS. GI support of sustainable development of territories: Proceedings of the International conference. Moscow: MSU, Faculty of Geography, 2022. V. 28. Part 2. P. 484–498. DOI: 10.35595/2414-9179-2022-2-28-484-498 (in Russian)