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Proceedings Paper

Sherlock Holmes’ or Don Quixote‘s certainty? Interpretations of cropmarks on satellite imageries in archaeological investigation
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Paper Abstract

Years of experience in air-photo interpretations provide us to conclusion that we know what we are looking at, we know why we can see cropmarks, we even can estimate, when are the best opportunities to observe them. But even today cropmarks may be a subject of misinterpretation or wishful thinking. The same problems appear when working with aerial photographs, satellite imageries, ALS, geophysics, etc.

In the paper we present several case studies based on data acquired for and within ArchEO - archaeological applications of Earth Observation techniques project to discuss complexity and consequences of archaeological interpretations. While testing usefulness of satellite imagery in Poland on various types of sites, cropmarks were the most frequent indicators of past landscapes as well as archaeological and natural features. Hence, new archaeological sites have been discovered mainly thanks to cropmarks. This situation has given us an opportunity to test not only satellite imageries as a source of data but also confront them with results of other non-invasive methods of data acquisition.

When working with variety of data we have met several issues which raised problems of interpretation. Consequently, questions related to the cognitive value of remote sensing data appear and should be discussed. What do the data represent? To what extent the imageries, cropmarks or other visualizations represent the past? How should we deal with ambiguity of data? What can we learn from pitfalls in the interpretation of cropmarks, soilmarks etc. to share more Sherlock’s methodology rather than run around Don Quixote’s delusions?

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 August 2016
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 9688, Fourth International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geoinformation of the Environment (RSCy2016), 96880R (12 August 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2241802
Show Author Affiliations
Aleksandra Wilgocka, Muzeum Narodowe in Szczecin (Poland)
Włodzimierz Rączkowski, Adam Mickiewicz Univ. in Poznań (Poland)
Mikołaj Kostyrko, Adam Mickiewicz Univ. in Poznań (Poland)
Dominik Ruciński, Wasat Sp. z o.o. (Poland)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9688:
Fourth International Conference on Remote Sensing and Geoinformation of the Environment (RSCy2016)
Kyriacos Themistocleous; Diofantos G. Hadjimitsis; Silas Michaelides; Giorgos Papadavid, Editor(s)

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