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Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 100; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040100

From Above and on the Ground: Geospatial Methods for Recording Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa

1
School of Archaeology and Ancient History, University of Leicester, University Road, Leicester LE1 7RH, UK
2
School of Archaeology, University of Oxford, 1-2 South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3TG, UK
3
Department of Archaeology, University of Durham, South Road, Durham DH1 3LE, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 July 2017 / Revised: 26 September 2017 / Accepted: 28 September 2017 / Published: 5 October 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing and Geosciences for Archaeology)
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Abstract

The EAMENA (Endangered Archaeology of the Middle East and North Africa) project is a collaboration between the Universities of Leicester, Oxford and Durham; it is funded by the Arcadia Fund and the Cultural Protection Fund. This paper explores the development of the EAMENA methodology, and discusses some of the problems of working across such a broad region. We discuss two main case studies: the World Heritage site of Cyrene illustrates how the project can use satellite imagery (dating from the 1960s to 2017), in conjunction with published data to create a detailed set of database records for a single site and, in particular, highlights the impact of modern urban expansion across the region. Conversely, the Homs Cairns case study demonstrates how the EAMENA methodology also works at an extensive scale, and integrates image interpretation (using imagery dating from the 1960s to 2016), landuse mapping and field survey (2007–2010) to record and analyse the condition of hundreds of features across a small study region. This study emphasises the impact of modern agricultural and land clearing activities. Ultimately, this paper assesses the effectiveness of the EAMENA approach, evaluating its potential success against projects using crowd-sourcing and automation for recording archaeological sites, and seeks to determine the most appropriate methods to use to document sites and assess disturbances and threats across such a vast and diverse area. View Full-Text
Keywords: archaeology; cultural heritage; Middle East; North Africa; remote sensing archaeology; cultural heritage; Middle East; North Africa; remote sensing
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Supplementary material

  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Doi: n/a
    Link: http://eamenadatabase.arch.ox.ac.uk/
    Description: The archaeological sites mentioned in this paper are recorded in our database http://eamenadatabase.arch.ox.ac.uk/

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MDPI and ACS Style

Rayne, L.; Bradbury, J.; Mattingly, D.; Philip, G.; Bewley, R.; Wilson, A. From Above and on the Ground: Geospatial Methods for Recording Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa. Geosciences 2017, 7, 100.

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