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High-Resolution Digital Elevation Models, GIS and Remote Sensing in Support of Landscape Archaeology Reconstruction, Dynamics and Management

A special issue of Remote Sensing (ISSN 2072-4292). This special issue belongs to the section "Environmental Remote Sensing".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 July 2023) | Viewed by 3634

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Geography, Faculty of Geography and Geology, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iași, 700505 Iași, Romania
Interests: geomorphometry; geomorphic change detection; high-resolution topography; landslides; gullies; fluvial geomorphology
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Guest Editor
Arheoinvest Center, Department of Exact and Natural Sciences, Institute of Interdisciplinary Research, “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University, Iasi, Romania
Interests: prehistoric archaeology; geophysical prospection; aerial photography and GIS applications in archaeology

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Guest Editor
Geographic Research Center, Romanian Academy, Iasi Branch, Iași, Romania
Interests: soil mapping; geomorphometry; spatial analysis; remote sensing

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Guest Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Landscapes have spatial dimensions that require multiple scales of processes and various resolutions of data to be considered when we want to understand the present-day landscape or reconstruct its previous instances. For past landscapes, the present-day topography is basically the skeleton of the previous one in the analysis, and all of the representations of topography and the anthropo-scape are usable. This is why maps, digital elevation models (DEMs), and remote sensing data are crucial for spatially filling the gaps in information from archaeological sites. For ancient landscapes, although the present is not necessarily a backbone anymore, it could be used to gather data about similar settings. If modeling is used, this spatial information can be very useful, and the present landscapes can still drive the modeling in a GIS environment. During the last few years, the amount of data has increased, driven by the launch of new satellite missions, novel data acquisition modes and enhanced spatial/temporal resolutions, and new platforms such as LiDAR and UAVs. Additionally, computational methods have diversified, including having availability as open source implementations, especially regarding visualization and modeling, as well as innovative artificial intelligence, machine learning and semi-automated detection approaches.

This Special Issue welcomes manuscripts from all fields of geoscience that deal with the usage of maps, DEMs, GIS, and remote sensing for the reconstruction, modeling, or management of archaeological landscapes from different periods of the past, or for the understanding of the present-day morphologies through their past dynamics.

While new developments and methods or data are welcomed in the form of original research articles, interesting case studies, as well as reviews, are also welcome.

Dr. Mihai Niculiță
Dr. Andrei Asandulesei
Dr. Bogdan Roşca
Dr. Francesca Cigna
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Remote Sensing is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2700 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

  • geomorphometry
  • geoarchaeology
  • GIS
  • LiDAR
  • UAV
  • satellite imagery
  • aerial imagery
  • landscape archaeology
  • DEM

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

19 pages, 14538 KiB  
Article
Evaluating the Performance of Geographic Object-Based Image Analysis in Mapping Archaeological Landscapes Previously Occupied by Farming Communities: A Case of Shashi–Limpopo Confluence Area
by Olaotse Lokwalo Thabeng, Elhadi Adam and Stefania Merlo
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(23), 5491; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15235491 - 24 Nov 2023
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Abstract
The use of pixel-based remote sensing techniques in archaeology is usually limited by spectral confusion between archaeological material and the surrounding environment because they rely on the spectral contrast between features. To deal with this problem, we investigated the possibility of using geographic [...] Read more.
The use of pixel-based remote sensing techniques in archaeology is usually limited by spectral confusion between archaeological material and the surrounding environment because they rely on the spectral contrast between features. To deal with this problem, we investigated the possibility of using geographic object-based image analysis (GEOBIA) to predict archaeological and non-archaeological features. The chosen study area was previously occupied by farming communities and is characterised by natural soils (non-sites), vitrified dung, non-vitrified dung, and savannah woody vegetation. The study uses a three-stage GEOBIA that comprises (1) image object segmentation, (2) feature selection, and (3) object classification. The spectral mean of each band and the area extent of an object were selected as input variables for object classifications in support vector machines (SVM) and random forest (RF) classifiers. The results of this study have shown that GEOBIA approaches have the potential to map archaeological landscapes. The SVM and RF classifiers achieved high classification accuracies of 96.58% and 94.87%, respectively. Visual inspection of the classified images has demonstrated the importance of the aforementioned models in mapping archaeological and non-archaeological features because of their ability to manage the spectral confusion between non-sites and vitrified dung sites. In summary, the results have demonstrated that the GEOBIAs ability to incorporate spatial elements in the classification model ameliorates the chances of distinguishing materials with limited spectral differences. Full article
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24 pages, 3747 KiB  
Article
Bibliometric Analysis of Spatial Technology for World Heritage: Application, Trend and Potential Paths
by Guolong Chen, Ruixia Yang, Xiangli Zhao, Lanyi Li, Lei Luo and Honghao Liu
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(19), 4695; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15194695 - 25 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 988
Abstract
World heritage sites are monuments and natural landscapes recognised by all humanity as being of outstanding significance and universal value. Spatial technology provides new ideas for the conservation and sustainable development of world heritage sites. Using a bibliometric analysis, this study extracted 401 [...] Read more.
World heritage sites are monuments and natural landscapes recognised by all humanity as being of outstanding significance and universal value. Spatial technology provides new ideas for the conservation and sustainable development of world heritage sites. Using a bibliometric analysis, this study extracted 401 relevant documents from the Web of Science database from 1990–2022. Meta information, such as abstracts, keywords of the papers were extracted and cleaned using bibliometric package and analysed the applications, partnerships and development trends of existing spatial technologies for world heritage sites. The results of the study show the “4D” characteristics of space technology in world heritage sites: (1) Development: Spatial applications in world heritage sites have gradually developed with an annual growth rate of 10.22% during the period 1990–2022. (2) Discrepancy: More than 70 per cent of countries have not been able to fully apply space technology on the ground at world heritage sites. (3) Desirability: Shared exchanges between research institutions are rare, and more cooperation and exchanges are expected, especially between transnationals. (4) Diversity: The future outlook for technology will be multidisciplinary, multi-method integrated research. Full article
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21 pages, 43156 KiB  
Article
Raking over the Ashes—The Analysis of the LBA Ashmounds from NE Romania
by Casandra Brașoveanu, Andrei Asăndulesei, Radu-Alexandru Brunchi and Felix-Adrian Tencariu
Remote Sens. 2023, 15(7), 1826; https://doi.org/10.3390/rs15071826 - 29 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1087
Abstract
During the end of the Bronze Age, the territory of present-day eastern Romania was occupied by Noua communities, belonging to the Noua-Sabatinovka-Coslogeni (NSC) cultural complex. Although these communities have left us a large number of archaeological sites, this period is rather poorly known [...] Read more.
During the end of the Bronze Age, the territory of present-day eastern Romania was occupied by Noua communities, belonging to the Noua-Sabatinovka-Coslogeni (NSC) cultural complex. Although these communities have left us a large number of archaeological sites, this period is rather poorly known and understood, mostly because the investigation of Late Bronze Age (LBA) sites is very rare, usually consisting of small test trenches or fieldwalks. The main characteristic of these communities and the subject of our study is represented by the so-called ashmounds (grey, quasi-circular spots, visible on the soil surface, with small elevations and diameters of 25–30 m), present inside most settlements. Our paper aims at highlighting the spatial characteristics of these sites, using GIS (Geographic Information System) tools, as well as aerial photographs, LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) measurements, magnetometry and geo-electrical methods, in order to identify the relationship existing between Noua communities and the inhabited environment, in the area known as the Jijia River catchment. Thus, our approach was able to outline the way in which the geographical peculiarities determined the establishment of new settlements, revealing that the human groups from the end of the Bronze Age preferred low terrains with smooth slopes, located in the immediate vicinity of the most important watercourse of the inhabited micro-area. Additionally, our geophysical studies allowed us to confirm the lack of ash located within the ashmound, as well as to signal the possibility that these features have become visible on the soil surface only due to the irreversible damage caused by intensive agricultural processes. Despite the small number of excavations, to this day an important number of studies have been dedicated to the communities and features in question; however, no analysis has yet been performed that unites the tools specific to GIS software with the usage of non-invasive methods (such as aerial photographs, LiDAR measurements and geophysical techniques). Full article
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