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Axel G. Posluschny: ArchaeoLandscapes Europe - A Remote Sensing Network For Cultural Heritage ...

Axel G. Posluschny: ArchaeoLandscapes Europe - A Remote Sensing Network For Cultural Heritage
Presentation at the 1st INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON BEST PRACTICES IN WORLD HERITAGE: ARCHAELOGY
9-13/4/2012 at Menorca, Balearic Islands, (Spain)

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  • Prospection in all its various forms, has always been one of the major sources for archaeological knowledge. Especially aerial archeology has been of greater importance since crop marks, soils marks and so on became recognized as hints to former human remains and landscape artifacts. These methods have been supplemented by the growing application of computer or otherwise technologically based prospection methods like geophysics, LiDAR or satellite imagery. This conference aims for best practice guides and information – in that sense I will give in the next 15 minutes or so a short introduction into archaeological surveying for Cultural Heritage, touching aspects that maybe most of you know about to a certain extent but offering a basic and broad overview (though neither complete nor exhaustive) over the technological tools that we nowadays have.
  • When we talk about archaeology or Cultural Heritage in general we usually think of well known objects like the Egyptian pyramids, a Roman temple, the library of Ephesos or large effigy mounds in the United States . They are so well known mainly because they are large and of course also because they are visible! But that of course is just a very small portion of what ancient cultures have left as traces of their former activities. Many structures and features in the soil are often not known at all – which makes it difficult to protect them as defined by the European Convention of the Protection of Archaeological Heritage.
  • Features like pits, ditches and wells might be covered by soil and are invisible to the human eye. Even when excavated most of them do not look very spectacular.
  • What is left from many features, buildings, ditches and so on after a couple of hundreds or thousand years remains invisible at least when seen through the human eye. But still there are traces in the ground, traces that differ from their surrounding soil in their colour, texture and other physical and chemical properties.
  • Some of these features can be discovered when parts of it - like stones from a wall or sherds from within a pit - are uncovered by ploughing. That is the basis for field walking surveys which usually is a good instrument to detect unknown archaeological sites. But it is not suitable in all cases as the following example shows: In 1982 this large ditch structure was discovered from an aerial archaeologist in northern Bavaria, Germany (KLICK) . No archaeological finds were known from that site so far though some field walking has been carried out before. The ditch is part of a Roman military camp from which you can see a small part on the excavation plan on the right hand side. It shows a large amount and a great variety of features, not only from the camp but also from Neolithic burials and from an Iron Age settlement. All structures - besides the ditch - couldn ’ t be seen on the aerial photograph, but they were clearly visible in a geophysical survey, which has been carried out a short time after the detection of the ditch from the air.
  • If those investigations wouldn ’ t have been conducted, the whole area would have been overbuild after a few years and because no relevant archaeological traces were known before, the archaeology underneath the soil would have been destroyed if none of the building workers would have reported archaeological features during the construction of houses and streets.
  • I have already shown you an example for an aerial photo which is an important advanced surveying technique used for the detection and the monitoring of both visible and hidden archaeological features as well as for the management of landscape changes and their impact on archaeological sites.
  • The result and the success of an aerial survey is highly depending not only on the skills and the experience of the aerial archaeologist but also on weather conditions, general soil conditions and others. With a little bit of luck these conditions have been suitable when high resolution pictures from satellites have been taken, so tools like GoogleEarth also offer the opportunity to detect archaeological sites from your armchair - a good technique for those that otherwise would suffer from air sickness. This example shows a quite impressing earthwork in Romania with a multiple ditch system.
  • Satellite images have been a source for archaeological and landscape feature detection since they are more or less easily available for research purposes. The development of the satellite cameras is rapidly increasing. While 10 years ago they produced images with a 1 m ground resolution the newer satellites like GeoEye have a resolution even below this 1m threshold. The large scale availability makes them a perfect instrument to not only detect new sites but especially to monitor changes of know sites (like the one shown here on the right from Sudan) and also to assess landscape features and to classify landscape for archaeological and other purposes.
  • One very new technique is the use of Airborne Laser Scans, also known as LiDAR scans. While flying over a landscape a plane or a helicopter can take pictures of the landscape but it can also make radar based measurements of the terrain. The big advantage when using LiDAR scans is the possibility to distinguish between different kinds of signals or signal echoes and thereby simply calculating a terrain even when it is covered with trees and bushes with a very high resolution.
  • This example shows a digital elevation model, based on the LiDAR scan of an Early Iron Age hillfort near Frankfurt, Germany. You can clearly see shallow remains of a former rampart and ditch system (marked here with the arrows) that are not visible from the ground.
  • With the help of these data we were also able to detect grave mounds in the forest that where unknown to the archaeological heritage management authorities before.
  • Geophysical surveying methods comprise a variety of different techniques. They all have in common, that they are non-destructive, they are machine-based, in most cases they are less expensive than excavations and they can cover much larger areas than field walking or trial trenches. Their disadvantage is the expert knowledge one has to have in many cases to be able to handle the data derived from various measurements.
  • I am not going into the technical details now, first of all because I am not a technician and second because of the limited time I have. Magnetometric survey is used to rapidly generate data of large scale areas, showing a wide variety of anomalies that have been caused by different kinds of human activities. It uses one or more sensors to measure the gradient of the magnetic field i.e. the difference between the natural magnetic field of the Earth and the structures that have been caused by human impact.
  • It is possible to measure an area of up to 2 hectares per day with a handheld array with 5 sensors; the average coverage is – depending on the terrain – 1 hectare per day. Modern systems with 16 sensors on a car-driven device can measure up to 30 hectares per day, the average still being 5 to 10 hectares. Systems like that have been used to investigate this large-scale area of the multi-period site of Vr abl e in Slovakia. over 100 hectare?
  • Earth resistance survey (geoelectric survey) is measuring the local electrical resistance by inserting two or more sensors into the ground, which produce electrical circuits. The resulting data can be used to map (archaeological) features of higher or lower resistivity. Features like ditches often contain more moisture than the surrounding soil and therefore have less resistivity while wall structures, foundings and so on usually have a higher resistivity.
  • Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) is often used because of its abilities to measure not only planar features but also to estimate the depth of features. A radar signal or electromagnetic impulse is send into the ground, which causes different kinds of reflections (travel time of signals), depending on the depth and the structure of the soil and of buried features.
  • All these methods are the main basis for landscape archaeological research and Cultural Heritage Management in Europe and beyond its borders. But we all know that the knowledge and the intensity of use of these techniques differ all over Europe. To overcome these differences and to collect knowledge and expertise from different parts of Europe, we have created the „ArchaeoLandscapes Europe “ project. We have managed to find 55 partners from all over Europe and have applied for a substantial funding from the EU to work together in a 5-years project.
  • 5 years is a long time and 55 partners is a great number to deal with, even when only 27 of those are financially involved.
  • To cite the words of our grant application, „the target of the ArchaeoLandscapes project is to address existing imbalances in the use of modern surveying and remote sensing techniques and to create conditions for the regular use of these strikingly successful techniques across the Continent as a whole. It aims to create a self-sustaining network to support the use throughout Europe of aerial survey and ‘ remote sensing ’ to promote understanding, conservation and public enjoyment of the shared landscape and archaeological heritage of the countries of the European Union “ .
  • The project consist of a number of so-called actions or work packages. We want to … Create a self-supporting ArchaeoLandscapes Network Europe Communicate the value of aerial survey, remote sensing and landscape studies Promote the pan-European exchange of people, skills and experience Enhance teaching in aerial survey, remote sensing and landscape studies Exploit existing air-photo archives more effectively Support aerial survey, remote sensing and landscape exploration Explore laser, satellite and other forms of remote sensing to a larger extent Provide technical guidance and advice on best practice
  • Let me conclude: One can only protect, monitor and manage what s/he knows – so large scale surveying to discover hidden subsoil archaeological features is not only a technique for archaeological research but also for Cultural Heritage Management Site protection is an expensive as well as a time consuming task, but modern geophysical and remote sensing methods are a possible solution to overcome the problems caused by the different activities that change the landscape and the Cultural Heritage within The large variety of modern surveying methods have the great advantage of being non-destructive, they can amend each other and they deliver a very precise and nearly complete picture of what is hidden to the human eye. They cover large areas within a relatively low amount of time and are therefore able to detect unknown features prior to any building or land management activities with much lower costs than caused by excavations. Data from geophysical surveys are an ideal basis for decision making in urban land-use planning, it can be used to assess the threads from erosion, looting and plundering or from ploughing and it can be used for monitoring archaeological sites During building and construction planning the areas of archaeological interest can be taken into account, building sites can be replaced or at least the amount of pre-building research activities to excavate archaeological features can much better be assessed. So not only archaeology or Cultural Heritage Management benefit from a large scale surveys but also investors and stakeholders from construction companies
  • Knowing that the use of all these techniques and methods need skill, expertise and experience and being aware of the fact that these factors are not evenly distributed all over Europe (as well as in the rest of the world), the ArchaeoLandscapes Europe project, supported by the EU Culture 2007–2013 programme, aims for a better understanding and a more excessive use of modern archaeological surveying techniques as well as for an exchange of people, working in these fields, their expertise and of new ideas

ArchaeoLandscapes Europe ArchaeoLandscapes Europe Presentation Transcript

  • ArchaeoLandscapes Europe ArchaeoLandscapes Europe A Remote Sensing Network For Cultural Heritage --- ArchaeoLandscapes Europe Una red de Sensores Remotos para el Patrimonio Cultural Dr. Axel G. Posluschny Roman-Germanic Commission of the German Archaeological Institute posluschny@rgk.dainst.dewww.archaeolandscapes.eu
  • ArchaeoLandscapes Europe Features in Cultural Heritage Management http://www.aegypten-spezialist.de/uploads/pics/gizeh-cheops-sphinx.jpg http://www.online-reisefuehrer.com/bilder-reisen/tuerkei/ephesos.jpg inroduction http://www.zum.de/Faecher/G/BW/Landeskunde/w3/provence/vienne/augustus1.jpg http://www.ohiotraveler.com/images/serpent%20mound.jpgRoman-Germanic Commission www.archaeolandscapes.eu
  • ArchaeoLandscapes Europe Invisible Features in Cultural Heritage Management introductionRoman-Germanic Commission www.archaeolandscapes.eu
  • ArchaeoLandscapes Europe Invisible Features in Cultural Heritage Management Braasch/Christlein1982 inroductionRoman-Germanic Commission www.archaeolandscapes.eu
  • ArchaeoLandscapes Europe An example – aerial information inroduction Ber. RGK 72, 1993 Germania 71, 1993Roman-Germanic Commission www.archaeolandscapes.eu
  • ArchaeoLandscapes Europe An example – geophysical information introduction Ber. RGK 72, 1993Roman-Germanic Commission www.archaeolandscapes.eu
  • ArchaeoLandscapes Europe Aerial Archaeology soil marks crop marks surveying techniques Landesamt 1997 Braasch 2010Roman-Germanic Commission www.archaeolandscapes.eu
  • ArchaeoLandscapes Europe Satellite Imagery surveying techniquesRoman-Germanic Commission www.archaeolandscapes.eu
  • ArchaeoLandscapes Europe Satellite Imagery • Satellite images • increasing resolution • large scale availability surveying techniques Cowley et al. 2010Roman-Germanic Commission www.archaeolandscapes.eu
  • ArchaeoLandscapes Europe ALS / LiDAR • LiDAR => Light Detection And Ranging = Airborne Laserscan (ALS) • A high-resolution digital surface model (DSM) can be derived and also a „vegetation-free“ digital elevation model (DEM) • Many national cartography E nglish Heritage 2010 agencies produce these scans which can also be used for surveying techniques archaeological purposesRoman-Germanic Commission www.archaeolandscapes.eu
  • ArchaeoLandscapes Europe ALS / LiDAR surveying techniquesRoman-Germanic Commission www.archaeolandscapes.eu
  • ArchaeoLandscapes Europe ALS / LiDAR surveying techniquesRoman-Germanic Commission www.archaeolandscapes.eu
  • ArchaeoLandscapes Europe Geophysical Surveys • Geophysical surveying methods comprise a variety of different techniques: – Magnetometer survey – Earth resistance survey (geoelectric survey) – Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) • They are: – non-destructive – machine-based – in most cases less expensive than excavations surveying techniques – can cover much larger areas than field walking, trial trenching or even large scale excavations • Their disadvantage is the expert knowledge one has to have in many cases to be able to handle the data derived from various measurementsRoman-Germanic Commission www.archaeolandscapes.eu
  • ArchaeoLandscapes Europe Geophysical Surveys – Geomagnetic • Is used to rapidly generate data of large scale areas, showing a wide variety of anomalies that have been cause by different kinds of human activities • It uses one or more sensors to measure the gradient of the magnetic field i.e. the difference between the natural magnetic field of the Earth E nglish Heritage 2008 and the structures that have been cause by human impact • Every kind of material has its own surveying techniques magnetic property, they all result in a different disturbance of the Earth’s magnetic field • Other than earth resistance surveys, magnetometers do not usually detect walls or other stone structures (if not burned) directly D. PetersRoman-Germanic Commission www.archaeolandscapes.eu
  • ArchaeoLandscapes Europe Geophysical Surveys – Geomagnetic surveying techniques Batora et al.Roman-Germanic Commission www.archaeolandscapes.eu
  • ArchaeoLandscapes Europe Geophysical Surveys – Earth Resistance • Earth resistance survey (geoelectric survey) is measuring the local electrical resistance by inserting two or more sensors into the ground, which produce electrical circuits • Features like ditches often contain more moisture than the surrounding English Heritage 2008 soil and therefore have less resistivity while wall structures, foundings and so on usually have a higher resistivity • The main disadvantage of a surveying techniques resistance survey is the limitation caused by the need for the sensors to make direct electrical contact by the insertion of electrodes. As a result resistance survey is mainly used for smaller areas English Heritage 2008Roman-Germanic Commission www.archaeolandscapes.eu
  • ArchaeoLandscapes Europe Geophysical Surveys – Ground Penetrating Radar • Ground-penetrating radar (GPR) is often used because of its abilities to measure not only planar features but also to estimate the depth of features. A radar signal or electromagnetic impulse is send into the ground, which causes different kinds of reflections (travel time of signals), depending on the depth and the structure of the soil and of buried features E nglish Heritage 2008 • The resulting data represents a profile information, that can also be interpolated into a planview map by surveying techniques taking into account the results of several, densely measured profiles • The main disadvantage of GPR is its dependency on ideal soil conditions. Another problem is the low speed of measurements, especially when used Kvamme et al. 2006 for larger areasRoman-Germanic Commission www.archaeolandscapes.eu
  • ArchaeoLandscapes Europe Project Partners from all over Europe Co-ordinator/Project Leader: Associated Partners (with no financial commitment within the project): 1. Roman-Germanic Commission, German Archaeological Institut (DE) 1. University of Vienna, Austria Co-organisers: 2. University of West Bohemia, Czech Republic 1. In Flanders Fields Museum, Belgium (BE) 3. National Heritage Board of Estonia 2. Cyprus Research and Education Foundation (STARC), Cyprus (CY) 4. National Museum of the Faroe Islands 3. Holstebro Museum, Denmark (DK) 5. Aalto University School of Science and Technology, Finland 4. State Heritage Service Baden-Württemberg, Germany (DE) 6. Université de Franche Comté , France 5. Institute for Mediterranean Studies (FORTH), Greece (GR) 7. University of Applied Sciences - i3mainz, Germany 6. Baranya County Museum Authority, Hungary (HU) 8. University of Bamberg, Germany 7. Institute of Archaeology, Iceland (IS) 9. University of Frankfurt, Germany 8. Discovery Programme, Ireland (IE) 10. Aerial Archaeology Research Group 9. University College Dublin, Ireland (IE) 11. Culture Lab - International Cultural Expertise, Belgium 10. University of Foggia, Italy (IT) 12. Dutch Expertise Centre for Archaeological Remote Sensing 11. University of Salento (LabTAF), Lecce, Italy (IT) 13. Dundalk Institute of Technology, Ireland 12. University of Siena (LAP&T), Italy (IT) 14. Latvian Academy of Culture 13. University of Klaipeda, Lithuania (LT) 15. University of Granada, Spain 14. University of Leiden, Netherlands (NL) 16. University of Uppsala, Sweden 15. Norwegian Institute for Cultural Heritage Research (NIKU), Norway (NO) 17. University of Ulster, United Kingdom 16. Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań, Poland (PL) 18. Landscape & Geophysical Services, Ireland 17. Institute for Cultural Memory (CIMEC), Romania (RO) 19. Macquarie University, NSW, Australia 18. Institute of Archaeology, Serbia (RS) 20. The DART Project - University of Leeds, United Kingdom 19. Slovak Academy of Sciences (SK) 21. Leuven University, Belgium 20. Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts (ZRC SAZU) (SI) 22. Department of Earth and Environment of the Italian National Research Council 21. University of Ljubljana, Slovenia (SI) 23. University of Zagreb, Croatia 22. Instituto de Estudos Galeos Padre Sarmiento, Spain (ES) 24. VU Amsterdam, The Netherlands 23. English Heritage, United Kingdom (UK) 25. Moesgaard Museum, Denmark 24. University of Exeter, United Kingdom (UK) arcland 26. The Rathcroghan Heritage Centre, Ireland 25. University of Glasgow, United Kingdom (UK) 27. The Landscape Research Centre, United Kingdom 26. Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland 28. Polytechnic Institute of Tomar University, Portugal (UK) more to come ...Roman-Germanic Commission www.archaeolandscapes.eu
  • ArchaeoLandscapes Europe ArchaeoLandscape Europe is supported by the EU within the framework of the Culture 2007-2013 programme • Agreement Number: 2010-1486 • Start: 15th September 2010 • End: 14th September 2015 • EU Funding: 2,5 Mio € • Overall Budget: 5 Mio € • Involved Partners: 55(so far) • Project Leader: Roman-Germanic Commission of the German Archaeological Institute (Dr. Axel G. Posluschny, posluschny@rgk.dainst.de) arclandRoman-Germanic Commission www.archaeolandscapes.eu
  • ArchaeoLandscapes Europe Aims of the project •To increase public appreciation, understanding and conservation ..... –of the landscape and archaeological heritage – of Europe .... –through the application and international sharing of skills and experience .... •in airborne and other forms of remote sensing arclandRoman-Germanic Commission www.archaeolandscapes.eu
  • ArchaeoLandscapes Europe A busy 5-year programme ... • Create a self-supporting ArchaeoLandscapes Network Europe • Communicate the value of aerial survey, remote sensing and landscape studies • Promote the pan-European exchange of people, skills and experience • Enhance teaching in aerial survey, remote sensing and landscape studies • Exploit existing air-photo archives more effectively • Support aerial survey, remote sensing and landscape exploration • Explore laser, satellite and other forms of remote sensing to a larger extent arcland • Provide technical guidance and advice on best practiceRoman-Germanic Commission www.archaeolandscapes.eu
  • ArchaeoLandscapes Europe Further information If you want to know more about the project and the various (future) activities, opportunities and so on, visit our website http://www.archaeolandscapes.eu arclandRoman-Germanic Commission www.archaeolandscapes.eu
  • ArchaeoLandscapes Europe Resume • One can only protect, monitor and manage what s/he knows • –> Large scale surveys are not only a technique for archaeological research but also for Cultural Heritage Management • Site protection is an expensive as well as a time consuming task • –> Modern geophysical and remote sensing methods are a possible solution • The large variety of modern surveying methods have a number of great advantages: – Non-destructive – Amend each other – Very precise – Nearly complete – Cover large areas – Fast – Much lower costs than caused by excavations • Surveying data is the ideal basis for decision making in urban land-use planning, to assess the threads from erosion, looting and plundering or from ploughing and to monitor archaeological sites • During building and construction planning the areas of archaeological interest can be taken into account –> not only Archaeology or Cultural Heritage Management benefit from large conclusion scale surveys but also investors and stakeholdersRoman-Germanic Commission www.archaeolandscapes.eu
  • ArchaeoLandscapes Europe Resume Knowing that the use of all these techniques and methods need skill, expertise and experience and being aware of the fact that these factors are not evenly distributed all over Europe (as well as in the rest of the world), the ArchaeoLandscapes Europe project, supported by the EU Culture 2007–2013 programme, aims for a better understanding and a more excessive use of modern archaeological surveying techniques as well as for an exchange of people, working in these fields, their expertise and of new ideas conclusionRoman-Germanic Commission www.archaeolandscapes.eu
  • ArchaeoLandscapes Europe Thank you very much for your attention posluschny@rgk.dainst.deRoman-Germanic Commission www.archaeolandscapes.eu