E-Mail Alert

Add your e-mail address to receive forthcoming issues of this journal:

Journal Browser

Journal Browser

Special Issue "Archaeological Prospecting and Remote Sensing"

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 September 2016)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Kenneth L. Kvamme

Department of Anthropology & Archeo-Imaging Lab, University of Arkansas, Old Main 330, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +1-(479)575-4130
Fax: +1-(479)575-6595
Interests: Near-surface geophysics, data integration, pattern recognition, spatial analysis, archaeological location modeling

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Archaeological prospecting through various remote sensing and computing technologies has seen large advances in recent years. Satellites now offer the sub-meter spatial resolutions required for archaeological detection together with an increasing breadth of spectral information. Aerial drones coupled with an increasing variety of sensors and software for automatic image mosaicking yield new and even higher resolution perspectives on past landscape modifications. Lidar permits detailed surface maps of subtle landscape variations that point to buried ruins and other past modifications to the ground even in heavily forested regions. Geophysical instrumentation continues to increase in sensitivity and speed, and new multi-sensor arrays drawn by carts over land now permit vast areas to be rapidly covered. Computer models of archaeological location, whether derived through simulation or regional statistical patterns, form methods of prospecting that continue to advance.

We would like to invite you to submit articles about your recent research with respect to the following topics, all with a focus on the detection of archaeological features, whether sites, settlements, monuments, or shipwrecks.

  • Ground-based or marine geophysics
  • Aerial imaging through aircraft or drones
  • Lidar
  • Multispectral imaging from air or space
  • Thermal infrared imaging
  • Air or space radar
  • Integration of multi-sensor data (ground, air, or space)
  • Automatic archaeological feature detection
  • GIS-based or other computer models of archaeological location grounded in social-environmental simulations or regional statistical patterns
  • Review articles covering one or more of these topics are also welcome.

Authors are required to check and follow specific Instructions to Authors, see https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/165068305/Remote_Sensing-Additional_Instructions.pdf.

Dr. Kenneth L. Kvamme
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Remote Sensing is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1600 CHF (Swiss Francs).

Published Papers (14 papers)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-14
Export citation of selected articles as:

Research

Jump to: Other

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Cutbank Geophysics: A New Method for Expanding Magnetic Investigations to the Subsurface Using Magnetic Susceptibility Testing at an Awatixa Hidatsa Village, North Dakota
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(2), 112; doi:10.3390/rs9020112
Received: 30 September 2016 / Revised: 6 January 2017 / Accepted: 20 January 2017 / Published: 28 January 2017
PDF Full-text (13702 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Magnetic susceptibility investigations were conducted at an Awatixa Hidatsa village (32ME11, also known as Sakakawea Village) along a cutbank at the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site (KNRI) in central North Dakota, USA. This extensive exposure provided a superb opportunity to correlate
[...] Read more.
Magnetic susceptibility investigations were conducted at an Awatixa Hidatsa village (32ME11, also known as Sakakawea Village) along a cutbank at the Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site (KNRI) in central North Dakota, USA. This extensive exposure provided a superb opportunity to correlate magnetic susceptibility measurements with a variety of subsurface features. These features were visible in the cutbank, and also recorded in cutbank profiles completed in the late 1970s in work supervised by Robert Nickel and Stanley Ahler. The susceptibility studies are part of a larger program of geophysics at KNRI that commenced with pioneering surveys of John Weymouth and Robert Nickel, also in the 1970s, and continued with extensive surface-based magnetic surveys over the interior portion of the site in 2012 by the National Park Service. Our magnetic susceptibility study differs from other geophysical efforts in that measurements were collected from the vertical cutbank, not from the surface, to investigate different feature types within their stratigraphic context and to map small-scale vertical changes in susceptibility. In situ measurements of volume magnetic susceptibility were accomplished on the cutbank at six areas within the village and a control location off-site. Samples were collected for use in soil magnetic studies aimed at providing an understanding of susceptibility contrasts in terms of magnetic mineralogy, grain size, and concentration. Distinctive susceptibility signatures for natural and cultural soils, different feature types, and buried soils, suggest that down-hole susceptibility surveys could be usefully paired with surface-based geophysics and soil magnetic studies to explore interior areas of this and other KNRI sites, mapping vertical and horizontal site limits, activity areas, features, and perhaps even earlier occupations. This study showcases the potential of cutbank studies for future geophysical survey design and interpretation, and also underscores the importance of information gained through pioneering studies of the past. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Archaeological Prospecting and Remote Sensing)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Inside a Cucuteni Settlement: Remote Sensing Techniques for Documenting an Unexplored Eneolithic Site from Northeastern Romania
Remote Sens. 2017, 9(1), 41; doi:10.3390/rs9010041
Received: 8 September 2016 / Revised: 21 November 2016 / Accepted: 28 December 2016 / Published: 6 January 2017
PDF Full-text (25727 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper presents recent results of an integrated non-invasive investigation carried out in a previously unexplored settlement from northeastern Romania, belonging to the last great Eneolithic civilisation of Old Europe, the Cucuteni-Trypillia cultural complex. Although there is a long history of research
[...] Read more.
This paper presents recent results of an integrated non-invasive investigation carried out in a previously unexplored settlement from northeastern Romania, belonging to the last great Eneolithic civilisation of Old Europe, the Cucuteni-Trypillia cultural complex. Although there is a long history of research concerning this culture, at only a handful of sites has archaeological research completed a comprehensive planimetric image. This makes it impossible to determine a typological evolution of the internal organisation of Cucutenian sites, both diachronically, across the three great phases of the culture (A, A−B and B for the Romanian area), and spatially, from SE Transylvania to the Republic of Moldova, and towards the steppes of the Ukraine. Accordingly, in certain environmental conditions, many essential behavioural aspects of Cucutenian communities are far from understood. Consequently, the generalisation and integration of non-invasive prospecting methods—Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), aerial photography, earth resistivity, magnetometry, and their integration through Geographic Information System (GIS)—clearly represents a feasible alternative for deciphering the Cucuteni culture. These complementary investigation methods were applied for this case study, emphasis being put on the conjoint use of datasets from each technique. On the basis of results recently obtained from the Războieni–Dealul Mare/Dealul Boghiu site, innovative characteristics are described concerning intra-site spatial organisation, a typology of the fortification systems, the existence of ritual or delimitation ditches, and the presence of habitations outside fortified areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Archaeological Prospecting and Remote Sensing)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Improved Geoarchaeological Mapping with Electromagnetic Induction Instruments from Dedicated Processing and Inversion
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(12), 1022; doi:10.3390/rs8121022
Received: 6 September 2016 / Revised: 7 November 2016 / Accepted: 6 December 2016 / Published: 14 December 2016
PDF Full-text (4954 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Increasingly, electromagnetic induction methods (EMI) are being used within the area of archaeological prospecting for mapping soil structures or for studying paleo-landscapes. Recent hardware developments have made fast data acquisition, combined with precise positioning, possible, thus providing interesting possibilities for archaeological prospecting. However,
[...] Read more.
Increasingly, electromagnetic induction methods (EMI) are being used within the area of archaeological prospecting for mapping soil structures or for studying paleo-landscapes. Recent hardware developments have made fast data acquisition, combined with precise positioning, possible, thus providing interesting possibilities for archaeological prospecting. However, it is commonly assumed that the instrument operates in what is referred to as Low Induction Number, or LIN. Here, we detail the problems of the approximations while discussing a best practice for EMI measurements, data processing, and inversion for understanding a paleo-landscape at an Iron Age human bone depositional site (Alken Enge) in Denmark. On synthetic as well as field data we show that soil mapping based on EMI instruments can be improved by applying data processing methodologies from adjacent scientific fields. Data from a 10 hectare study site was collected with a line spacing of 1–4 m, resulting in roughly 13,000 processed soundings, which were inverted with a full non-linear algorithm. The models had higher dynamic range in the retrieved resistivity values, as well as sharper contrasts between structural elements than we could obtain by looking at data alone. We show that the pre-excavation EMI mapping facilitated an archaeological prospecting where traditional trenching could be replaced by a few test pits at selected sites, hereby increasing the chance of finding human bones. In a general context we show that (1) dedicated processing of EMI data is necessary to remove coupling from anthropogenic structures (fences, phone cables, paved roads, etc.), and (2) that carrying out a dedicated full non-linear inversion with spatial coherency constraints improves the accuracy of resistivities and structures over using the data as they are or using the Low Induction Number (LIN) approximation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Archaeological Prospecting and Remote Sensing)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Frozen: The Potential and Pitfalls of Ground-Penetrating Radar for Archaeology in the Alaskan Arctic
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(12), 1007; doi:10.3390/rs8121007
Received: 28 September 2016 / Revised: 26 November 2016 / Accepted: 1 December 2016 / Published: 9 December 2016
PDF Full-text (19381 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) offers many advantages for assessing archaeological potential in frozen and partially frozen contexts in high latitude and alpine regions. These settings pose several challenges for GPR, including extreme velocity changes at the interface of frozen and active layers, cryogenic patterns
[...] Read more.
Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) offers many advantages for assessing archaeological potential in frozen and partially frozen contexts in high latitude and alpine regions. These settings pose several challenges for GPR, including extreme velocity changes at the interface of frozen and active layers, cryogenic patterns resulting in anomalies that can easily be mistaken for cultural features, and the difficulty in accessing sites and deploying equipment in remote settings. In this study we discuss some of these challenges while highlighting the potential for this method by describing recent successful investigations with GPR in the region. We draw on cases from Bering Land Bridge National Preserve, Cape Krusenstern National Monument, Kobuk Valley National Park, and Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve. The sites required small aircraft accessibility with light equipment loads and minimal personnel. The substrates we investigate include coastal saturated active layer over permafrost, interior well-drained active layer over permafrost, a frozen thermo-karst lake, and an alpine ice patch. These examples demonstrate that GPR is effective at mapping semi-subterranean house remains in several contexts, including houses with no surface manifestation. GPR is also shown to be effective at mapping anomalies from the skeletal remains of a late Pleistocene mammoth frozen in ice. The potential for using GPR in ice and snow patch archaeology, an area of increasing interest with global environmental change exposing new material each year, is also demonstrated. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Archaeological Prospecting and Remote Sensing)
Figures

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Multi-Sensor Geomagnetic Prospection: A Case Study from Neolithic Thessaly, Greece
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(11), 966; doi:10.3390/rs8110966
Received: 3 October 2016 / Revised: 7 November 2016 / Accepted: 16 November 2016 / Published: 22 November 2016
PDF Full-text (36024 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Multi-sensor prospecting is a fast-emerging paradigm in archaeological geophysics. Given suitable ground conditions for navigation, sensor arrays drastically increase efficiency in data collection. In particular, geomagnetic prospecting benefits from this development. Despite these advancements, data processing still lacks a best-practice approach. Conventional processing
[...] Read more.
Multi-sensor prospecting is a fast-emerging paradigm in archaeological geophysics. Given suitable ground conditions for navigation, sensor arrays drastically increase efficiency in data collection. In particular, geomagnetic prospecting benefits from this development. Despite these advancements, data processing still lacks a best-practice approach. Conventional processing methods developed for gridded data has been challenged by sensor arrays “roaming” in the landscape. In realization of the issue, the Innovative Geophysical Approaches for the Study of Early Agricultural Villages of Neolithic Thessaly (IGEAN) Project explored various innovative techniques for the betterment of the multi-sensor geomagnetic data processing. As a result, a modular pipeline is produced with minimal user intervention. In addition to standard steps, such as data clipping, various other algorithms have been introduced. This pipeline is tested over 20 Neolithic settlements in Thessaly, Greece, three of which are presented here in detail. The proposed workflow provides drastic improvements over raw data. As a result of these improvements, the IGEAN project revealed astonishing details on architectural elements, settlement enclosures, and paleolandscapes, changing completely the existing perspective of the Neolithic habitation in Thessaly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Archaeological Prospecting and Remote Sensing)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Shallow Off-Shore Archaeological Prospection with 3-D Electrical Resistivity Tomography: The Case of Olous (Modern Elounda), Greece
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(11), 897; doi:10.3390/rs8110897
Received: 27 July 2016 / Revised: 10 October 2016 / Accepted: 24 October 2016 / Published: 29 October 2016
PDF Full-text (17858 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
It is well known that nowadays as well as in the past the vast majority of human habitation and activities are mainly concentrated in littoral areas. Thus the increased attention to coastal zone management contributed to the development and implementation of shallow-water mapping
[...] Read more.
It is well known that nowadays as well as in the past the vast majority of human habitation and activities are mainly concentrated in littoral areas. Thus the increased attention to coastal zone management contributed to the development and implementation of shallow-water mapping approaches for capturing current environmental conditions. During the last decade, geophysical imaging techniques like electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) have been used in mapping onshore buried antiquities in a non-destructive manner, contributing to cultural heritage management. Despite its increased implementation in mapping on-shore buried archaeological remains, ERT has minimal to non-existent employment for the understanding of the past dynamics in littoral and shallow off-shore marine environments. This work presents the results of an extensive ERT survey in investigating part of the Hellenistic to Byzantine submerged archaeological site of Olous, located on the north-eastern coast of Crete, Greece. A marine area of 7100 m2 was covered with 178 densely spaced ERT lines having a cumulative length of 8.3 km. A combination of submerged static and moving survey modes were used to document potential buried and submerged structures. The acquired data from the marine environment were processed with two-dimensional and three-dimensional inversion algorithms. A real time kinematic global navigation satellite system was used to map the visible submerged walls and compile the bathymetry model of the bay. The adaptation of ERT in reconstructing the underwater archaeological remains in a shallow marine environment presented specific methodological and processing challenges. The in situ experience from the archaeological site of Olous showed that ERT provided a robust method for mapping the submerged archaeological structures related to the ancient built environment (walls, buildings, roads), signifying at the same time the vertical stratigraphy of the submerged sediments. The inherent limitation of employing ERT in a conductive environment is counterbalanced by the incorporation of precise knowledge for the conductivity and bathymetry of the saline water in the modelling and inversion procedure. Although the methodology definitely needs further refinement, the overall outcomes of this work underline the potential of ERT imaging being integrated into wider shallow marine projects for the mapping of archaeological sites in similar environmental regimes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Archaeological Prospecting and Remote Sensing)
Figures

Open AccessArticle An Iterative Approach to Ground Penetrating Radar at the Maya Site of Pacbitun, Belize
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(10), 805; doi:10.3390/rs8100805
Received: 17 May 2016 / Revised: 15 September 2016 / Accepted: 20 September 2016 / Published: 29 September 2016
PDF Full-text (39676 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ground penetrating radar (GPR) surveys provide distinct advantages for archaeological prospection in ancient, complex, urban Maya sites, particularly where dense foliage or modern debris may preclude other remote sensing or geophysical techniques. Unidirectional GPR surveys using a 500 MHz shielded antenna were performed
[...] Read more.
Ground penetrating radar (GPR) surveys provide distinct advantages for archaeological prospection in ancient, complex, urban Maya sites, particularly where dense foliage or modern debris may preclude other remote sensing or geophysical techniques. Unidirectional GPR surveys using a 500 MHz shielded antenna were performed at the Middle Preclassic Maya site of Pacbitun, Belize. The survey in 2012 identified numerous linear and circular anomalies between 1 m and 2 m deep. Based on these anomalies, one 1 m × 4 m unit and three smaller units were excavated in 2013. These test units revealed a curved plaster surface not previously found at Pacbitun. Post-excavation, GPR data were reprocessed to best match the true nature of excavated features. Additional GPR surveys oriented perpendicular to the original survey confirmed previously detected anomalies and identified new anomalies. The excavations provided information on the sediment layers in the survey area, which allowed better identification of weak radar reflections of the surfaces of a burnt, Middle Preclassic temple in the northern end of the survey area. Additional excavations of the area in 2014 and 2015 revealed it to be a large square structure, which was named El Quemado. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Archaeological Prospecting and Remote Sensing)
Figures

Figure 1

Open AccessArticle Mapping Indigenous Settlement Topography in the Caribbean Using Drones
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(10), 791; doi:10.3390/rs8100791
Received: 15 July 2016 / Revised: 13 September 2016 / Accepted: 19 September 2016 / Published: 23 September 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (17178 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The archaeology of Amerindian settlements in the Caribbean has mostly been identified through scatters of artefacts; predominantly conglomerations of shells, ceramics and lithics. While archaeological material may not always be visible on the surface, particular settlement patterns may be identifiable by a topography
[...] Read more.
The archaeology of Amerindian settlements in the Caribbean has mostly been identified through scatters of artefacts; predominantly conglomerations of shells, ceramics and lithics. While archaeological material may not always be visible on the surface, particular settlement patterns may be identifiable by a topography created through cultural action: earthen mounds interchanging with mostly circular flattened areas. In northern Hispaniola, recent foot surveys have identified more than 200 pre-colonial sites of which several have been mapped in high resolution. In addition, three settlements with topographical characteristics have been extensively excavated, confirming that the mounds and flattened areas may have had a cultural connotation in this region. Without the availability of high resolution LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data, a photogrammetric approach using UAS (unmanned aircraft system, commonly known as drones) can fill the knowledge gap on a local scale, providing fast and reliable data collection and precise results. After photogrammetric processing, digital clearance of vegetation, and extraction of the georeferenced DEM (digital elevation model) and orthophoto, filters and enhancements provide an opportunity to visualize the results in GIS. The outcome provides an overview of site size, and distribution of mounds and flattened areas. Measurement of the topographic changes in a variety of past settlements defines likely zones of habitat, and provides clues on the actual dimensions and density of living space. Understanding the relation of the mounds and adjacent flat areas within their environment allows a discussion on how, and for what purpose, the settlement was founded at a particular location, and provides clues about its spatial organization. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Archaeological Prospecting and Remote Sensing)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Engaging with the Canopy—Multi-Dimensional Vegetation Mark Visualisation Using Archived Aerial Images
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(9), 752; doi:10.3390/rs8090752
Received: 18 July 2016 / Revised: 24 August 2016 / Accepted: 5 September 2016 / Published: 12 September 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (6240 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Using Montarice in central Adriatic Italy as a case study, this paper focuses on the extraction of the spectral (i.e., plant colour) and geometrical (i.e., plant height) components of a crop canopy from archived aerial photographs, treating both parameters as proxies for archaeological
[...] Read more.
Using Montarice in central Adriatic Italy as a case study, this paper focuses on the extraction of the spectral (i.e., plant colour) and geometrical (i.e., plant height) components of a crop canopy from archived aerial photographs, treating both parameters as proxies for archaeological prospection. After the creation of orthophotographs and a canopy height model using image-based modelling, new archaeological information is extracted from this vegetation model by applying relief-enhancing visualisation techniques. Through interpretation of the resulting data, a combination of the co-registered spectral and geometrical vegetation dimensions clearly add new depth to interpretative mapping, which is typically based solely on colour differences in orthophotographs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Archaeological Prospecting and Remote Sensing)
Figures

Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Ground-Penetrating Radar Mapping Using Multiple Processing and Interpretation Methods
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(7), 562; doi:10.3390/rs8070562
Received: 18 May 2016 / Revised: 7 June 2016 / Accepted: 28 June 2016 / Published: 2 July 2016
PDF Full-text (11747 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Ground-penetrating radar processing and interpretation methods have been developed over time that usually follow a certain standard pathway, which leads from obtaining the raw reflection data to the production of amplitude slice-maps for three-dimensional visualization. In this standard series of analysis steps a
[...] Read more.
Ground-penetrating radar processing and interpretation methods have been developed over time that usually follow a certain standard pathway, which leads from obtaining the raw reflection data to the production of amplitude slice-maps for three-dimensional visualization. In this standard series of analysis steps a great deal of important information contained in the raw data can potentially be lost or ignored, and without careful consideration, data filtering and re-analysis, information about important buried features can sometimes be unobserved. A typical ground-penetrating radar (GPR) dataset should, instead, be processed, re-evaluated, re-processed and then new images made from new sets of data as a way to enhance the visualization of radar reflections of interest. This should only be done in an intuitive way, once a preliminary series of images are produced using standard processing steps. An example from data collected in an agricultural field in France illustrate how obvious buried features are readily discovered and interpreted using standard processing steps, but additional frequency filtering, migration and then re-processing of certain portions of the data produced images of a subtle Roman villa foundation that might have otherwise gone undiscovered. In sand dunes in coastal Brazil, geological complexity obscured the reflections from otherwise hidden anthropogenic strata, and only an analysis of multiple profiles using different scales and processing allowed this small buried feature to be visible. Foundations of buildings in a Roman city in England could be easily discovered using standard processing methods, but a more detailed analysis of reflection profiles after re-processing and a comparison of GPR images with magnetic gradiometry maps provided information that allowed for the functions of come buried buildings and also an analysis of the city’s destruction by fire. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Archaeological Prospecting and Remote Sensing)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Posterior Probability Modeling and Image Classification for Archaeological Site Prospection: Building a Survey Efficacy Model for Identifying Neolithic Felsite Workshops in the Shetland Islands
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(6), 529; doi:10.3390/rs8060529
Received: 26 February 2016 / Revised: 12 June 2016 / Accepted: 14 June 2016 / Published: 22 June 2016
PDF Full-text (2872 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The application of custom classification techniques and posterior probability modeling (PPM) using Worldview-2 multispectral imagery to archaeological field survey is presented in this paper. Research is focused on the identification of Neolithic felsite stone tool workshops in the North Mavine region of the
[...] Read more.
The application of custom classification techniques and posterior probability modeling (PPM) using Worldview-2 multispectral imagery to archaeological field survey is presented in this paper. Research is focused on the identification of Neolithic felsite stone tool workshops in the North Mavine region of the Shetland Islands in Northern Scotland. Sample data from known workshops surveyed using differential GPS are used alongside known non-sites to train a linear discriminant analysis (LDA) classifier based on a combination of datasets including Worldview-2 bands, band difference ratios (BDR) and topographical derivatives. Principal components analysis is further used to test and reduce dimensionality caused by redundant datasets. Probability models were generated by LDA using principal components and tested with sites identified through geological field survey. Testing shows the prospective ability of this technique and significance between 0.05 and 0.01, and gain statistics between 0.90 and 0.94, higher than those obtained using maximum likelihood and random forest classifiers. Results suggest that this approach is best suited to relatively homogenous site types, and performs better with correlated data sources. Finally, by combining posterior probability models and least-cost analysis, a survey least-cost efficacy model is generated showing the utility of such approaches to archaeological field survey. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Archaeological Prospecting and Remote Sensing)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Automated Archiving of Archaeological Aerial Images
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(3), 209; doi:10.3390/rs8030209
Received: 8 January 2016 / Revised: 5 February 2016 / Accepted: 24 February 2016 / Published: 5 March 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (7733 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The main purpose of any aerial photo archive is to allow quick access to images based on content and location. Therefore, next to a description of technical parameters and depicted content, georeferencing of every image is of vital importance. This can be done
[...] Read more.
The main purpose of any aerial photo archive is to allow quick access to images based on content and location. Therefore, next to a description of technical parameters and depicted content, georeferencing of every image is of vital importance. This can be done either by identifying the main photographed object (georeferencing of the image content) or by mapping the center point and/or the outline of the image footprint. The paper proposes a new image archiving workflow. The new pipeline is based on the parameters that are logged by a commercial, but cost-effective GNSS/IMU solution and processed with in-house-developed software. Together, these components allow one to automatically geolocate and rectify the (oblique) aerial images (by a simple planar rectification using the exterior orientation parameters) and to retrieve their footprints with reasonable accuracy, which is automatically stored as a vector file. The data of three test flights were used to determine the accuracy of the device, which turned out to be better than 1° for roll and pitch (mean between 0.0 and 0.21 with a standard deviation of 0.17–0.46) and better than 2.5° for yaw angles (mean between 0.0 and −0.14 with a standard deviation of 0.58–0.94). This turned out to be sufficient to enable a fast and almost automatic GIS-based archiving of all of the imagery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Archaeological Prospecting and Remote Sensing)
Figures

Other

Jump to: Research

Open AccessOpinion Trying to Break New Ground in Aerial Archaeology
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(11), 918; doi:10.3390/rs8110918
Received: 24 August 2016 / Revised: 14 October 2016 / Accepted: 26 October 2016 / Published: 4 November 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4846 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Aerial reconnaissance continues to be a vital tool for landscape-oriented archaeological research. Although a variety of remote sensing platforms operate within the earth’s atmosphere, the majority of aerial archaeological information is still derived from oblique photographs collected during observer-directed reconnaissance flights, a prospection
[...] Read more.
Aerial reconnaissance continues to be a vital tool for landscape-oriented archaeological research. Although a variety of remote sensing platforms operate within the earth’s atmosphere, the majority of aerial archaeological information is still derived from oblique photographs collected during observer-directed reconnaissance flights, a prospection approach which has dominated archaeological aerial survey for the past century. The resulting highly biased imagery is generally catalogued in sub-optimal (spatial) databases, if at all, after which a small selection of images is orthorectified and interpreted. For decades, this has been the standard approach. Although many innovations, including digital cameras, inertial units, photogrammetry and computer vision algorithms, geographic(al) information systems and computing power have emerged, their potential has not yet been fully exploited in order to re-invent and highly optimise this crucial branch of landscape archaeology. The authors argue that a fundamental change is needed to transform the way aerial archaeologists approach data acquisition and image processing. By addressing the very core concepts of geographically biased aerial archaeological photographs and proposing new imaging technologies, data handling methods and processing procedures, this paper gives a personal opinion on how the methodological components of aerial archaeology, and specifically aerial archaeological photography, should evolve during the next decade if developing a more reliable record of our past is to be our central aim. In this paper, a possible practical solution is illustrated by outlining a turnkey aerial prospection system for total coverage survey together with a semi-automated back-end pipeline that takes care of photograph correction and image enhancement as well as the management and interpretative mapping of the resulting data products. In this way, the proposed system addresses one of many bias issues in archaeological research: the bias we impart to the visual record as a result of selective coverage. While the total coverage approach outlined here may not altogether eliminate survey bias, it can vastly increase the amount of useful information captured during a single reconnaissance flight while mitigating the discriminating effects of observer-based, on-the-fly target selection. Furthermore, the information contained in this paper should make it clear that with current technology it is feasible to do so. This can radically alter the basis for aerial prospection and move landscape archaeology forward, beyond the inherently biased patterns that are currently created by airborne archaeological prospection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Archaeological Prospecting and Remote Sensing)
Figures

Open AccessLetter Discernibility of Burial Mounds in High-Resolution X-Band SAR Images for Archaeological Prospections in the Altai Mountains
Remote Sens. 2016, 8(10), 817; doi:10.3390/rs8100817
Received: 30 June 2016 / Revised: 21 September 2016 / Accepted: 24 September 2016 / Published: 30 September 2016
PDF Full-text (7096 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The Altai Mountains are a heritage-rich archaeological landscape with monuments in almost every valley. Modern nation state borders dissect the region and limit archaeological landscape analysis to intra-national areas of interest. Remote sensing can help to overcome these limitations. Due to its high
[...] Read more.
The Altai Mountains are a heritage-rich archaeological landscape with monuments in almost every valley. Modern nation state borders dissect the region and limit archaeological landscape analysis to intra-national areas of interest. Remote sensing can help to overcome these limitations. Due to its high precision, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data can be a very useful tool for supporting archaeological prospections, but compared to optical imagery, the detectability of sites of archaeological interest is limited. We analyzed the limitations of SAR using TerraSAR-X images in different modes. Based on ground truth, the discernibility of burial mounds was analyzed in different SAR acquisition modes. We show that very-high-resolution TerraSAR-X staring spotlight images are very well suited for the task, with >75% of the larger mounds being discernible, while in images with a lower spatial resolution only a few large sites can be detected, at rates below 50%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Archaeological Prospecting and Remote Sensing)
Figures

Journal Contact

MDPI AG
Remote Sensing Editorial Office
St. Alban-Anlage 66, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
E-Mail: 
Tel. +41 61 683 77 34
Fax: +41 61 302 89 18
Editorial Board
Contact Details Submit to Remote Sensing Edit a special issue Review for Remote Sensing
Back to Top