Articles | Volume 19
Adv. Geosci., 19, 87–96, 2008
https://doi.org/10.5194/adgeo-19-87-2008
Adv. Geosci., 19, 87–96, 2008
https://doi.org/10.5194/adgeo-19-87-2008

  14 Nov 2008

14 Nov 2008

New perspectives for satellite-based archaeological research in the ancient territory of Hierapolis (Turkey)

R. Lasaponara1, N. Masini2, and G. Scardozzi3 R. Lasaponara et al.
  • 1CNR, Istituto di Metodologie per l'Analisi Ambientale, Tito Scalo (PZ), Italy
  • 2CNR, Istituto per i Beni Archeologici e Monumentali, Tito Scalo (PZ), Italy
  • 3CNR, Istituto per i Beni Archeologici e Monumentali, Lecce, Italy

Abstract. This paper deals with the use of satellite QuickBird images to find traces of past human activity in the ancient territory of Hierapolis (Turkey). This is one of the most important archaeological sites in Turkey, and in 1988 it was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage list. Although over the years the archaeological site of Hierapolis has been excavated, restored and well documented, up to now the territory around the ancient urban area is still largely unknown. The current research project, still in progress, aims to search the area neighbouring Hierapolis believed to have been under the control of the city for a long time and, therefore, expected to be very rich in archaeological evidence. In order to investigate a large area around the ancient Hierapolis and discover potential archaeological remains, QuickBird images were adopted.

Results from satellite-based analysis allowed us to find several unknown rural settlements dating back to early Imperial Roman and the Byzantine age. Two significant test sites were focused on in this paper in order to characterize the different spectral responses observed for different types of archaeological features (shadow and soil marks). Principal Component Analysis and spectral indices were computed to enhance archaeological marks and make identification easier. The capability of the QuickBird data set (panchromatic, multispectral channel, PCA and spectral indices) in searching for archaeological marks was assessed in a quantitative way by using a specific indicator.

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