High-resolution, multi-spectral satellite imagery and extensive archaeological prospection

a case study from Apulia, Italy and Kazanlak, Bulgaria

Adela Sobotkova, Shawn A. Ross

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contribution

Abstract

High-resolution, multi-spectral satellite imagery can be deployed in combination with ground control, archaeological surface survey, and environmental research to produce a richer understanding of the archaeological landscape. While intensive surface survey remains the gold standard for site detection, remote sensing allows larger areas to be evaluated quickly and efficiently. During 2007 and 2008, investigators analysed approximately 70 sq km surrounding the site of l'Amastuola, in Apulia, Italy, supplemented in 2009 by another 85 sq km in the environs of the ancient city of Seuthopolis, near Kazanluk, Bulgaria. Previous and concurrent surface survey provided site definitions and a large sample of sites discovered through an independent process. Integration and comparison of remote sensing and surface survey data indicated that although remote sensing dramatically increased the area evaluated in both regions, only certain sites could be detected and patterns of discovery varied by region. In Italy, remote sensing primarily revealed sites associated with geological conditions amenable to past human habitation. In Bulgaria detection depended upon a combination of cultural and environmental factors. Integrating the two methods allows remote sensing to extend the reach of surface survey, while surface survey indicates the detection rates and patterns provided by remote sensing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSpace, time, place
Subtitle of host publicationthird international conference on remote sensing in archaeology
Place of PublicationOxford, UK
PublisherArchaeopress
Pages25-32
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9781407306599
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational conference on remote sensing in archaeology (3rd : 2009) - Tiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India
Duration: 17 Aug 200921 Aug 2009

Conference

ConferenceInternational conference on remote sensing in archaeology (3rd : 2009)
CityTiruchirappalli, Tamil Nadu, India
Period17/08/0921/08/09

Keywords

  • Remote sensing
  • Satellite image analysis
  • Reconnaissance
  • Prospection
  • Surface survey
  • Site discovery rates

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    Sobotkova, A., & Ross, S. A. (2010). High-resolution, multi-spectral satellite imagery and extensive archaeological prospection: a case study from Apulia, Italy and Kazanlak, Bulgaria. In Space, time, place: third international conference on remote sensing in archaeology (pp. 25-32). Oxford, UK: Archaeopress.