Figure 2 Contrasting spectral resolutions of AVIRIS,Landsat and Panchromatic imagery. Note howclosely the bands in Landsat follow the AVIRISbands.
Radiometric resolution determines the sensitivity of the sensor to differences in received signal strength. The data arenormally quantised into bits (power of 2). Radiometricresolution can have a significant impact on the ability tomeasure and discriminate objects. For example, in 8 bit (256values) imagery bright areas may be overexposed and dark areas in shadow whereas with 11 bit (2048 values) imagery itmay be possible to distinguish objects within these bright anddark areas. Sensors with high radiometric resolution requireimage manipulation to appreciate the increase in data quality.This is because the human eye can only discriminate between20 to 30 shades of grey under normal viewing situations.Under the same conditions the eye can discriminate a muchlarger number of colours.Temporal resolution refers to how often a sensor systemrecords a particular area. For all platforms except satellite thisvalue is likely to be infrequent. However, satellite imagerytends to cover the same area at the same time of day whereasall other sensor platforms can cover an area at different timesof day. This is particularly significant for some forms of contrast which occur at different times of day (such as shadowmarks or diurnal temperature variations) or under specificconditions.
Multi-sensor approachesIn most cases only a small component of the image domainfrom a sensor has archaeological significance (seeFigure 3).Different sensing devices with different aspect resolutionscapture different elements of the archaeological domain.Therefore, to gain a greater understanding different detectiontechniques can be used. The utility of multi-sensor approachescan not be stressed enough because combined sensor responses offer much finer granularity than the sum of their independent responses (although the problem of finding boundaries between regions of interest and background isexacerbated). Multi-sensor approaches are particularly pertinent to those countries that have poorly developednational archaeological inventories and intend to use remotesensing techniques for rapid survey. In such situations athorough understanding of the natural and anthropogenicfactors that impact upon feature contrast is required for themost comprehensive survey.
Figure 3 Conceptualised archaeological domain
2.3Measuring archaeological contrast
The issue here is to devise a framework within which therelationship between an archaeological residue and itsimmediate matrix can be modelled. This framework will allowthe identification of appropriate sensors to detect contrast andtimeframes when this potential contrast is more likely to bedetected. This knowledge will also allow the user to determinewhich aspects of the archaeological domain are unlikely to bedetected during a survey.
3.CONTRAST AND VISUAL ENHANCEMENT
The data in the archaeological domain can be visuallyidentified directly within the raw data or by employingrelatively simple histogram manipulations. However, althoughthe feature has been detected it may be masked within thestructure of the image. In such instances digital processingtechniques are required in order to express the, sometimessubtle, differences or
. This is particularly true for data with a medium to high radiometric resolution.When one has an understanding of the nature of thearchaeological residue, the impact of natural andanthropogenic factors over time and the sensor characteristicsone can model how the archaeological feature will expresscontrast against any background value. This information can be exploited to develop contrast enhancement algorithms toimprove recognition and identification.
4.CASE STUDY: HOMS SYRIA
Settlement and Landscape Development in the Homs Region, Syria
(SHR) was designed to investigate long-term human-landscape interaction in three adjacent butcontrasting environmental zones, located in the upper OrontesValley near the present-day city of Homs, Syria (Beck et al.,2007; Philip et al., 2005; Philip et al., 2002a; Philip et al.,2002b). Each zone is typical of a larger area, and initial studysuggested that they differed substantially in both their settlement histories and in the nature of their archaeologicalrecords.
Figure 4 Comparison of Corona KH-4b photographyand Ikonos MS imagery (archaeological sites arenumbered)
The project has principally employed a combination of Coronaand Ikonos satellite imagery for site detection (seeFigure 4).The Corona KH-4b missions used panchromatic film sensitiveto the spectral range 400-700nm – the visible and Near Infra-Red (NIR). The Corona missions occurred between 1959 and1972 and the photography archive is available online fromUSGS (2003). All Corona KH-4b mission imagery