25 October 2007 Some techniques for improving the detection of archaeological features from satellite imagery
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In common with all domains of remote sensing, residues indicative of past human activity can only be detected if they exhibit some form of identifiable contrast with their surroundings. Unlike many other domains these residues do not exhibit consistent spectral signatures. Archaeological spectral responses are commonly expressed as subtle deviations from their surrounding matrix. This is true for crop marks, soil marks and thermal anomalies. The challenge is to collect imagery when the contrast between archaeological residues and the background matrix is maximized and thus to find algorithms that will enhance these sometimes subtle distinctions so that they can be more readily detected. This paper will present work undertaken in the semi-arid environment of Homs, Syria. The project area includes two contrasting environmental zones with a differing repertoire of archaeological remains: a basalt zone (120 km2) and a marl zone (480 km2). Declassified Corona space photography and Ikonos satellite imagery (panchromatic and multispectral) were evaluated to determine their efficacy for detecting a range of different archaeological residues. No single image set was able to provide the best result for the two zones, as each required imagery collected under different environmental conditions.
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A. Beck, A. Beck, K. Wilkinson, K. Wilkinson, G. Philip, G. Philip, "Some techniques for improving the detection of archaeological features from satellite imagery", Proc. SPIE 6749, Remote Sensing for Environmental Monitoring, GIS Applications, and Geology VII, 674903 (25 October 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.736704; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.736704

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