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Sensors 2009, 9(3), 1754-1767;

Optimal Spectral Domain Selection for Maximizing Archaeological Signatures: Italy Case Studies

National Research Council, Institute of Atmospheric Pollution, Via Fosso del Cavaliere, 100, Roma, 00133, Italy
National Research Council, Institute of Methodologies for Environmental Analysis, C.da S. Loja - Zona Industriale, Tito Scalo (PZ), 85050, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 January 2009 / Revised: 10 March 2009 / Accepted: 10 March 2009 / Published: 12 March 2009
(This article belongs to the Section Remote Sensors)
Full-Text   |   PDF [924 KB, uploaded 21 June 2014]


Different landscape elements, including archaeological remains, can be automatically classified when their spectral characteristics are different, but major difficulties occur when extracting and classifying archaeological spectral features, as archaeological remains do not have unique shape or spectral characteristics. The spectral anomaly characteristics due to buried remains depend strongly on vegetation cover and/or soil types, which can make feature extraction more complicated. For crop areas, such as the test sites selected for this study, soil and moisture changes within near-surface archaeological deposits can influence surface vegetation patterns creating spectral anomalies of various kinds. In this context, this paper analyzes the usefulness of hyperspectral imagery, in the 0.4 to 12.8 mm spectral region, to identify the optimal spectral range for archaeological prospection as a function of the dominant land cover. MIVIS airborne hyperspectral imagery acquired in five different archaeological areas located in Italy has been used. Within these archaeological areas, 97 test sites with homogenous land cover and characterized by a statistically significant number of pixels related to the buried remains have been selected. The archaeological detection potential for all MIVIS bands has been assessed by applying a Separability Index on each spectral anomaly-background system of the test sites. A scatterplot analysis of the SI values vs. the dominant land cover fractional abundances, as retrieved by spectral mixture analysis, was performed to derive the optimal spectral ranges maximizing the archaeological detection. This work demonstrates that whenever we know the dominant land cover fractional abundances in archaeological sites, we can a priori select the optimal spectral range to improve the efficiency of archaeological observations performed by remote sensing data. View Full-Text
Keywords: hyperspectral remote sensing; archaeological spectral features; subsurface structures detection hyperspectral remote sensing; archaeological spectral features; subsurface structures detection
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Cavalli, R.M.; Pascucci, S.; Pignatti, S. Optimal Spectral Domain Selection for Maximizing Archaeological Signatures: Italy Case Studies. Sensors 2009, 9, 1754-1767.

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