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DIGITAL MYSTRAS: AN APPROACH TOWARDS UNDERSTANDING THE USE OF AN ARCHAEOLOGICAL SPACE

By July 29, 2022July 31st, 2022New, Vol. 8.3

by Panagiotidis, V. and Zacharias, N.

ABSTRACT

The archaeological site of Mystras, located in western Laconia, is the best-preserved Byzantine site in Greece also known as the “Castle City of Mystras” (Odysseus). Mystras was founded in 1249 by the Frank commander William II of Villehardouin who built a castle fortress on top of Myzithra hill on his return from the conquest of the Castle of Monemvasia. The castle fortress overlooked the Valley of Evrota 6km southwest of Sparta creating a control point for his regime. The city passed to Byzantine rule in 1259 and expanded outside the Acropolis. Mystras eventually developed into the powerhouse of the Peloponnese, capital of the Despotate of Morea. The city flourished through a significant number of phases, different rulers and population changes (Sinos, 2009). This study aims to visualize the history of Mystras through a digital depiction of the different phases of the city providing a digital product where the archaeological data concerning the area of the Byzantine city are projected. Through the use of modern spatial technologies, an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), a GPS and ground control points, the area was photographed and georeferenced using photogrammetry software to pro-vide a true orthophoto of the study area, which in turn, provide the base map for its subsequent analysis via Geographic Information System (GIS). The objective is to create a temporal and spatial presentation of the evolution of the city while providing additional data such as population fluctuations, structural elements, ecclesiastical and secular buildings as well as fortifications available to researchers. With the digital depiction of the evolution of the urban fabric, the narration of the history of the city itself begins, highlighting the con-tribution of digital technologies in Cultural Heritage Management.

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