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Geosciences 2017, 7(4), 95; doi:10.3390/geosciences7040095

The American Schools of Oriental Research Cultural Heritage Initiatives: Monitoring Cultural Heritage in Syria and Northern Iraq by Geospatial Imagery

1
ASOR Cultural Heritage Initiatives, 650 Beacon Street 2nd Floor, Boston, MA 02215, USA
2
Department of Anthropology at the University of Central Florida, 4000 Central Florida Blvd, Orlando, FL 32816, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 August 2017 / Revised: 21 September 2017 / Accepted: 23 September 2017 / Published: 28 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Remote Sensing and Geosciences for Archaeology)
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Abstract

The American Schools of Oriental Research Cultural Heritage Initiatives (ASOR CHI) continues to address the cultural heritage crisis in Syria and Northern Iraq by: (1) monitoring, reporting, and fact-finding; (2) promoting global awareness; and (3) conducting emergency response projects and developing post-conflict rehabilitation plans. As part of this mission, ASOR CHI, through a public–government collaboration with the United States of America (US) Department of State, has been provided with access to hundreds of thousands of satellite images, some within 24 h of the image being taken, in order to assess reports of damage to cultural heritage sites, to discover unreported damage, and to evaluate the impacts of such incidents. This work is being done across an inventory of over 13,000 cultural heritage sites in the affected regions. The available dataset of satellite imagery is significantly larger than the scales that geospatial specialists within archaeology have dealt with in the past. This has necessitated a rethinking of how the project uses satellite imagery and how ASOR CHI and future projects can more effectively undertake the important work of cultural heritage monitoring and damage assessment. View Full-Text
Keywords: endangered cultural heritage; remote sensing; large dataset; crowd-sourcing information; condition assessment; real-time processing; Syria; Iraq; conflict; Nimrud; Palmyra; Mosul endangered cultural heritage; remote sensing; large dataset; crowd-sourcing information; condition assessment; real-time processing; Syria; Iraq; conflict; Nimrud; Palmyra; Mosul
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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).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Danti, M.; Branting, S.; Penacho, S. The American Schools of Oriental Research Cultural Heritage Initiatives: Monitoring Cultural Heritage in Syria and Northern Iraq by Geospatial Imagery. Geosciences 2017, 7, 95.

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