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Special Issue "Geophysics and Remote Sensing in Archaeology and Monumental Heritage"

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Remote Sensors, Control, and Telemetry".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 November 2019.

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Giovanni Leucci

Istituto per i Beni Archeologici e Monumentali, Institute of Archaeological Heritage-Monuments and Sites (IBAM), Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, National Research Council (CNR), 73100 Lecce, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: geophysics; GPR; ERT; magnetometry; seismic
Guest Editor
Dr. Raffaele Persico

Istituto per i Beni Archeologici e Monumentali, Institute of Archaeological Heritage-Monuments and Sites (IBAM), Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, National Research Council (CNR), 73100 Lecce, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Remote Sensing; Earth Sciences; Geophysics; Applied Geophysics; Scattering; Inversion; Remote Sensing Applications; Antenna; Inverse Problems; GPR; Ground Penetrating Radar; Radar Systems
Guest Editor
Dr. Lara De Giorgi

Istituto per i Beni Archeologici e Monumentali, Institute of Archaeological Heritage-Monuments and Sites (IBAM), Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, National Research Council (CNR), 73100 Lecce, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: remote sensing modelling, Earth sciences, applied geophysics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

High-resolution remote sensing techniques provide multiscale and multitemporal approaches in the study of ancient settlements and landscapes and in the reconstruction of their development over centuries.

Nowadays, research in landscape archaeology requires the integration of different techniques of high-resolution remote sensing: satellite (optical and radar data), aerial (photos, IR, and Lidar data) from airplanes and UAVs, and ground (the integration of different geophysical techniques, field walking, and DGPS topographical surveys).

This SI aims to introduce field surveys, integrations, and analyses of geo-archaeological data for the study of archaeological sites in order to improve our knowledge of the investigated area related to both historical reconstruction and the production of tools for preventive archaeology and the preservation of archaeological and monumental heritage (for this last task, non-invasive diagnosis through micro-geophysics is also very useful).

Topics:

- Satellite remote sensing for archaeology using optical and radar data: new perspectives, semiautomatic and automatic approaches for extracting cultural information, and the study of the interconnections between environmental changes and dynamics of human frequentation;

 - Aerial archaeology: from historical and traditional air-photos to IR and Lidar data;

 - The integration of ground remote sensing techniques (geophysical prospecting) and field walking and DGPS topographical surveys for the study of ancient settlements and landscapes;

 - The integration of non-invasive methods for the preservation and protection of monumental heritage (micro-geophysics);

 - Integrated geophysical methods in archaeological sites;

 - Ancient extreme events in the geo-archaeological record, as floods, landslides, earthquakes, and tsunamis.

Dr. Giovanni Leucci
Dr. Raffaele Persico
Dr. Lara De Giorgi
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Geophysics
  • Remote sensing
  • Archaeology
  • Monumental heritage

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
3D Virtual Reconstruction of the Ancient Roman Incile of the Fucino Lake
Sensors 2019, 19(16), 3505; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19163505
Received: 28 June 2019 / Revised: 3 August 2019 / Accepted: 7 August 2019 / Published: 10 August 2019
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Abstract
The construction of the artificial emissary of Fucino Lake is one of the most ambitious engineering buildings of antiquity. It was the longest tunnel ever made until the 19th century and, due to the depth of the adduction inlet, it required a monumental [...] Read more.
The construction of the artificial emissary of Fucino Lake is one of the most ambitious engineering buildings of antiquity. It was the longest tunnel ever made until the 19th century and, due to the depth of the adduction inlet, it required a monumental and complex incile, which, for functionality, cannot be compared to other ancient emissaries. The Roman emissary and its "incile" (Latin name of the inlet structure) were almost completely destroyed in the 19th century, when Fucino Lake was finally dried. Today, only few auxiliary structures such as wells, tunnels, and winzes remain of this ancient work. As evidence of the ancient incile remains a description made by those who also destroyed it and some drawings made by travelers who, on various occasions, visited the site. This paper presents a virtual reconstruction of the Roman incile, obtained both through the philological study of the known documentation, interpreting iconographic sources that represent the last evidence of this structure, and through the survey on the territory. The main purpose is to understand its technical functionalities, the original structures, and its evolution during the time, taking into account the evolution of the Fucino Lake water levels, technological issues, and finally offering its visual reconstruction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geophysics and Remote Sensing in Archaeology and Monumental Heritage)
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Open AccessArticle
New Data on the Messapian Necropolis of Monte D’Elia in Alezio (Apulia, Italy) from Topographical and Geophysical Surveys
Sensors 2019, 19(16), 3494; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19163494
Received: 27 July 2019 / Revised: 6 August 2019 / Accepted: 7 August 2019 / Published: 9 August 2019
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Abstract
The Messapian necropolis of Monte D’Elia is related to one of the most important ancient settlements in the Salento Peninsula (in south Italy). In order to understand the extension and layout of this necropolis in the various periods of its use, a ground-penetrating [...] Read more.
The Messapian necropolis of Monte D’Elia is related to one of the most important ancient settlements in the Salento Peninsula (in south Italy). In order to understand the extension and layout of this necropolis in the various periods of its use, a ground-penetrating radar (GPR) prospection was undertaken in some important sample areas by a team of the Institute for Archaeological and Monumental Heritage of the National Research Council of Italy. The analysis of the GPR measurements revealed many anomalies that could be ascribed to archaeological structures (tombs), as well as other anomalies of presumable natural origin or referable to modern features. The data collected were georeferenced in the digital archaeological map of the site and integrated with a virtual reconstruction of the surveyed area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geophysics and Remote Sensing in Archaeology and Monumental Heritage)
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Open AccessArticle
Integrating Remote Sensing and Geophysics for Exploring Early Nomadic Funerary Architecture in the “Siberian Valley of the Kings”
Sensors 2019, 19(14), 3074; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19143074
Received: 30 May 2019 / Revised: 20 June 2019 / Accepted: 27 June 2019 / Published: 11 July 2019
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Abstract
This article analyses the architecture of the Early Iron Age royal burial mound Tunnug 1 in the “Siberian Valley of the Kings” in Tuva Republic, Russia. This large monument is paramount for the archaeological exploration of the early Scythian period in the Eurasian [...] Read more.
This article analyses the architecture of the Early Iron Age royal burial mound Tunnug 1 in the “Siberian Valley of the Kings” in Tuva Republic, Russia. This large monument is paramount for the archaeological exploration of the early Scythian period in the Eurasian steppes, but environmental parameters make research on site difficult and require the application of a diversity of methods. We thus integrate WorldView-2 and ALOS-2 remote sensing data, geoelectric resistivity and geomagnetic survey results, photogrammetry-based DEMs, and ortho-photographs, as well as excavation in order to explore different aspects of the funerary architecture of this early nomadic monument. We find that the large royal tomb comprises of a complex internal structure of radial features and chambers, and a rich periphery of funerary and ritual structures. Geomagnetometry proved to be the most effective approach for a detailed evaluation of the funerary architecture in our case. The parallel application of several surveying methods is advisable since dataset comparison is indispensable for providing context. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geophysics and Remote Sensing in Archaeology and Monumental Heritage)
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Open AccessArticle
Dissecting and Interpreting a Three-Dimensional Ground-Penetrating Radar Dataset: An Example from Northern Australia
Sensors 2019, 19(5), 1239; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19051239
Received: 22 January 2019 / Revised: 4 March 2019 / Accepted: 5 March 2019 / Published: 12 March 2019
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Abstract
A robust 3-D GPR dataset provides interpreters with a variety of methods for extracting important information at buried archaeological sites. An iterative approach that uses reflection profile analysis, amplitude slice-mapping, and often both in conjunction is often necessary as neither method by itself [...] Read more.
A robust 3-D GPR dataset provides interpreters with a variety of methods for extracting important information at buried archaeological sites. An iterative approach that uses reflection profile analysis, amplitude slice-mapping, and often both in conjunction is often necessary as neither method by itself is sufficient. In northern Australia, two constructed mounds contain a number of cultural and geological horizons and features, which can be imaged with GPR. The reflection profiles display the modified ground surface prior to mound construction and some initial construction layers. On the pre-mound surface, amplitude maps of reflective layers that were built-up on the ground surface indicate that they were constructed in an intentional manner. Those surfaces were later covered by sand to produce mounds used for human burial. Human internments in the mound can only be seen in reflection profiles, but once discovered, the profiles can be re-sliced to produce high definition amplitude images of these remains. No one method of analysis can provide an overall interpretation of these complex internal mound features. When the methods are varied, depending on the results of one method, a detailed and varied analysis of certain aspects of the mounds’ internal features are visible, leading to the generation of a number of hypotheses about how this area of northern Australia was used in the past. The 3-D data from GPR shows that this area was an important location on the landscape in the past, and was modified by the construction of a monumental mound, which was then used for human burials, and more recently, the construction of what was likely a ritual enclosure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geophysics and Remote Sensing in Archaeology and Monumental Heritage)
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Open AccessArticle
Accuracy Evaluation of Videogrammetry Using A Low-Cost Spherical Camera for Narrow Architectural Heritage: An Observational Study with Variable Baselines and Blur Filters
Sensors 2019, 19(3), 496; https://doi.org/10.3390/s19030496
Received: 29 December 2018 / Revised: 23 January 2019 / Accepted: 23 January 2019 / Published: 25 January 2019
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (7598 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction using video frames extracted from spherical cameras introduces an innovative measurement method in narrow scenes of architectural heritage, but the accuracy of 3D models and their correlations with frame extraction ratios and blur filters are yet to be evaluated. This [...] Read more.
Three-dimensional (3D) reconstruction using video frames extracted from spherical cameras introduces an innovative measurement method in narrow scenes of architectural heritage, but the accuracy of 3D models and their correlations with frame extraction ratios and blur filters are yet to be evaluated. This article addresses these issues for two narrow scenes of architectural heritage that are distinctive in layout, surface material, and lighting conditions. The videos captured with a hand-held spherical camera (30 frames per second) are extracted to frames with various ratios starting from 10 and increasing every 10 frames (10, 20, …, n). Two different blur assessment methods are employed for comparative analyses. Ground truth models obtained from terrestrial laser scanning and photogrammetry are employed for assessing the accuracy of 3D models from different groups. The results show that the relative accuracy (median absolute errors/object dimensions) of spherical-camera videogrammetry range from 1/500 to 1/2000, catering to the surveying and mapping of architectural heritage with medium accuracy and resolution. Sparser baselines (the length between neighboring image pairs) do not necessarily generate higher accuracy than those from denser baselines, and an optimal frame network should consider the essential completeness of complex components and potential degeneracy cases. Substituting blur frames with adjacent sharp frames could reduce global errors by 5–15%. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geophysics and Remote Sensing in Archaeology and Monumental Heritage)
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