KLASP is an archaeological survey project aimed at recording past landscapes by making use of intensive and extensive pedestrian survey, remote sensing and geo- archaeological research. The major aim of the research is providing a diachronic understanding of human activities and human – nature interaction in the Urla-Çeşme peninsula. The peninsula is located at the western tip of Anatolia and it is a geographic unit with a very dynamic geology, rich environment and deep history. It has always been a multicultural cosmopolit place where different societies contributed to the cultural landscape. Today, the districts on the peninsula are very popular touristic towns and becoming even more crowded in years which triggers the urbanization and the gentrification of rural places. This makes the place a complex one, which requires rapid and continuous recording of archaeological features and the palimpsest of past landscapes. Our methodology is focused on developing methods and improving approaches for an optimum recording of the past cultural landscapes.
The initial goal of the project was to examine the Ionian polis formation process and to present a cooperative understanding of territorial design and landscape us by investigating asty-khora models Klazomenai, Teos, Lebedos and Erythrai. The project is also aimed at better integrating ancient Ionia into the framework of Aegean basin, and suggesting that its significant role in the cultural and political dynamics of the Aegean core, both in prehistory and in the historical periods and re-contextualizing its peripheral position in that system. Given that the Ionian archaeology had been mainly focused on the excavation of urban centres and monumental structures, KLASP intended to specifically target the rural landscapes around the main urban centres to understand the development of socioeconomic and political organization of poleis through the 1stmillennium BC. Making use of the scientific legacy provided by previous works in the region we shed light to the settlement systems for macro periods in the peninsula.
Although the initial goal of the project mainly tended on the Ionian archaeology, since then the project expanded its focus to provide a more holistic understanding of the landscape by diachronic documentation of the sites and landscape features from prehistoric era to Ottoman period. By making use of field surveys, geoarchaeological research, geophysics, remote sensing and spatial analysis in GIS environment we are aimed at revealing the deep histories and past landscapes in the peninsula. Given that the region is faced to urban sprawl that is steadily accelerating since the 1980s, KLASP has also become an essential tool to record archaeological sites, historical places and landscape features before their rapid destruction; conducting engaged activities for supporting local communities and NGO’s to reinforce the sustainable preservation of past landscapes, and helping to establish a network to promote appreciation of the archaeological heritage to academics and to the non- academic interested public, as well as keeping a record of destruction at all levels.