Discernibility of Burial Mounds in High-Resolution X-Band SAR Images for Archaeological Prospections in the Altai Mountains

Balz, Timo; Caspari, Gino; Fu, Bihong; Liao, Mingsheng (2016). Discernibility of Burial Mounds in High-Resolution X-Band SAR Images for Archaeological Prospections in the Altai Mountains. Remote sensing, 8(10), p. 817. Molecular Diversity Preservation International MDPI 10.3390/rs8100817

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The Altai Mountains are a heritage-rich archaeological landscape with monuments in almost every valley. Modern nation state borders dissect the region and limit archaeological landscape analysis to intra-national areas of interest. Remote sensing can help to overcome these limitations. Due to its high precision, Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) data can be a very useful tool for supporting archaeological prospections, but compared to optical imagery, the detectability of sites of archaeological interest is limited. We analyzed the limitations of SAR using TerraSAR-X images in different modes. Based on ground truth, the discernibility of burial mounds was analyzed in different SAR acquisition modes. We show that very-high-resolution TerraSAR-X staring spotlight images are very well suited for the task, with >75% of the larger mounds being discernible, while in images with a lower spatial resolution only a few large sites can be detected, at rates below 50%.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

06 Faculty of Humanities > Department of History and Archaeology > Institute of Archaeological Sciences

UniBE Contributor:

Caspari, Gino

Subjects:

600 Technology > 620 Engineering
900 History > 930 History of ancient world (to ca. 499)

ISSN:

2072-4292

Publisher:

Molecular Diversity Preservation International MDPI

Language:

English

Submitter:

Gino Caspari

Date Deposited:

19 Sep 2019 12:00

Last Modified:

22 Oct 2019 20:47

Publisher DOI:

10.3390/rs8100817

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.133263

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/133263

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