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Proceedings Paper

Searching for hidden houses: optical satellite imagery in archaeological prospection of the early Neolithic settlements in the Kujawy region, Poland
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Paper Abstract

Archaeologists have been applying remote sensing methods for over hundred years. New technological opportunities still appear and they may offer new data on remains from the Past. Effectiveness of remote sensing methods differs at scales. Aerial photographs play very important role at the regional scale of prospection. The question appears on usefulness of optical satellite imagery in the field dominated by aerial photography until now. Survey based on aerial recording of early farming settlements in Central Europe proofs the value and effectiveness of the method in this field. On the other hand whilst analyzing aerial photographs one might doubt about a spatial structure of the settlement, whether the whole space of the settlement has been recorded or not. Most of traces of houses can be recognized as cropmarks, however it applies only to specific geomorphological structures. It raises the question: did people in the past select those specific geomorphological structures for settling or whether existing soil and geomorphological conditions mask archaeological traces? An attempt to recognize the impact of local soils and geomorphological conditions on a possibility of identification of archaeological features is one of the tasks in the project ArchEO – archaeological applications of Earth Observation techniques. In the vicinity of Kaczkowo village in Kujawy Region (Poland) a cluster of traces of the early Neolithic farmers is located. This area has been a subject of aerial survey for several years. Yet the question on a completeness of recognition of the settlement pattern is still open. In the project we attempt to assess to what extent optical satellite imagery and a wide range of processing techniques (vegetation indices, color composites, spectral transformations, edge detection etc.) might allow an identification of the remains of settlements, especially in the neighborhood of already known clusters of Neolithic houses. It might help in defining the range of the whole settlement. On the other hand an analysis of the relations between specific characteristics of soils and geomorphologic structures and the presence of remains of settlement might be necessary.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 June 2015
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 9535, Third International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geoinformation of the Environment (RSCy2015), 95350V (19 June 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2195618
Show Author Affiliations
Włodzimierz Rączkowski, Adam Mickiewicz Univ. in Poznań (Poland)
Dominik Rucinski, Wasat Sp. z o.o. (Poland)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9535:
Third International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geoinformation of the Environment (RSCy2015)
Diofantos G. Hadjimitsis; Kyriacos Themistocleous; Silas Michaelides; Giorgos Papadavid, Editor(s)

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