The Street System and Design Module of Mantineia: A Statistical Analysis of an Ancient Greek City Using Remote Sensing Datasets

Jari Pakkanen, Jamieson C. Donati

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Non-invasive fieldwork at the classical Greek city of Mantineia in the Peloponnese recently identified an expansive town plan with organized streets and city blocks. Satellite remote sensing was successful in recognizing surface anomalies from streets still buried beneath the ground. Afterwards, a geophysical survey clarified the organization of urban space by mapping the subsurface of approximately 25% of the city. The urban area at Mantineia had a network of rectangular city blocks and parallel streets. Based on the survey data, quantitative analysis was carried out to recognize the metrology and ancient design principles used by the classical town planners. Cosine quantogram analysis revealed two statistically significant peaks in the data at 10.089 m and at 7.425 m. The most likely interpretation of the results is that the design unit at Mantineia was 2.499 (0.024) m, a five-multiple of a cubit standard of 0.495–0.504 m. The relatively large unit ranges are probably due to the accuracy of the execution of the grid design in antiquity, patterns in the collapse of walls, and/or noise in the survey data. The effect of noise on the quantitative analysis was tested by introducing varying degrees of Gaussian noise into simulated data sets.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArchaeologies of Roads
EditorsTuna Kalaycı
Place of PublicationGrand Forks, ND
PublisherThe Digital Press at the University of North Dakota
ISBN (Electronic)979-8-9891912-0-8
ISBN (Print)979-8-9891912-8-4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

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