Vijayanagara Mapping ProjectArchaeos Home | Project Home
North Ridge | NMQ | Documentary | QTVR | Features | GPS | References | The Team | Credits
Archaeos Homepage
During its first field season at Vijayanagara, Archaeos' surveying team focused on documenting structural remains along the area known as the 'North Ridge'- a topographical feature more than two kilometers long and about half a kilometer wide, that separates the 'Royal' and the 'Sacred' precincts of the city’s urban core.

In their initial two-month period, the team concentrated mainly on the southwestern end of this ridge - an area chosen because of the high density of architectural remains there, including at least one palace-like structure visible on the surface.

In addition, for the purpose of comparison to what seems to be a palace on the North Ridge, the team collected enough data to create a 3-D model of a palace structure in the 'Noblemen's Quarter,' an area southwest of the North Ridge that has been partially reconstructed by local archaeologists. By the end of the first season, an area of approximately 50,000 sq. m had been mapped.

Learn more about the project and the first season (2000-2001)


One of the results of the 2003 field season was the completion of tracing and digitalization of the Vijayanagara Research Project's 1:400 maps-created in the 1980's under the direction of Dr. John Fritz-into a CAD (Computer Aided Design) format. The digitalization of the maps relevant to the survey area of the Archaeos Mapping Project at Vijayanagara means that we will now be able to model 3-dimensional topographical data in order to show how it correlates to the architectural surface features that we have been mapping.

The primary focus of Archaeos' surveying along the North Ridge of the City during the 2003 field season was to map large portion of the southern face of the major fortification wall along the ridge's North side. This task is important for two reasons: 1) to delimit a fixed perimeter for the remaining portion of the survey area along the western portion of the North Ridge; and 2) to define a large accurately mapped feature that corresponds directly to a visible feature on the older VRP 1:400 maps. The importance of this second task is that it will allow us to accurately "key-in", or overlay, our newer maps-which show only man-made features-onto the topographical features of the VRP maps. It also serves as one form of determining the accuracy of the earlier maps, which were hand drawn using a much earlier form of optical surveying.

In addition to the continued surveying along the North Ridge, a large percentage of our effort in that area was directed towards further documenting features discovered during the previous seasons by means of an intensive campaign of digital photography that included both ordinary "still-shots" and 360-degree panoramic view that are "stitched" together using the computer by means of QTVR (Quick Time Virtual Reality). These panoramas are an important form of documentation because they are extensive and interactive in nature; they allow the viewer to move through space on the computer panning and zooming in and out on any particular feature within the circumference of the original camera's view. We have now completed and modeled QTVR shots from all of our surveying stations, which means that they visually cover the entire completed survey areas on the North Ridge, as well as in the Noblemen's Quarter.
Approximately half of the field season was directed towards continuing to map the buildings within the Noblemen's Quarter.

2003 Progress Report - American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS)


The second season's work continued with data collection from the surface of the North Ridge and the Noblemen's Quarter. Approximately another 50.000 sq. m was mapped and more information about the Royal Center's economic and social activity was revealed. In particular, the expanded maps of the North Ridge produced each evening began to yield a clearer picture of Vijayanagaran life in this area. Analysis shows that this now desolate-looking and unprotected area was in no way marginal: it was, in fact, once an active and thriving part of Vijayanagara’s urban core. The numbers and massings of the architectural and other cultural remains along the surface of the North Ridge indicate dense urban development and can give more clues as to the settlement patterns and spatial layout of the city.

2002 Progress Report - American Institute of Indian Studies (AIIS)

© Copyright 2000-2004. Archaeos, Inc., a non-profit organization. All Rights Reserved.