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The archaeological exploitation of declassified satellite photography in semi-arid environments.

Beck, Anthony R. and Philip, Graham (2013) 'The archaeological exploitation of declassified satellite photography in semi-arid environments.', in Archaeology from historical aerial and satellite archives. , pp. 261-278.


Declassified satellite photographs are becoming an increasingly important archaeological tool. Not only are they useful for residue prospection and, when in stereo pairs, Digital Elevation Model (DEM) generation, they can also provide large scale temporal snap-shots that provide essential information on landscape change. Importantly, in some instances, declassified photographs may be the only available record of archaeological residues that have subsequently been eradicated. This chapter outlines a generic approach to accessing, digitising and processing declassified satellite photographs and utilising them in conjunction with modern fine resolution satellite images. The methodological issues of acquisition and preprocessing are addressed. A number of potential archaeological applications are described and illustrated with examples from the Settlement and Landscape Development in the Homs Region, Syria (SHR) project. These examples demonstrate that there is no single approach to processing and image selection. Rather, processing is dependent upon the nature of the archaeological residues and their surrounding matrix, the type of analysis one wants to undertake and the range of ancillary datasets which can be used to ‘add value’ to the source data.

Item Type:Book chapter
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Record Created:22 Feb 2013 15:50
Last Modified:22 Feb 2013 16:15

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