Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Download
Standard view
Full view
of .
Look up keyword
Like this
1Activity
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
The satellite archaeological survey of Egypt

The satellite archaeological survey of Egypt

Ratings: (0)|Views: 160|Likes:
A recent announcement of some pyramids, buried under the sand of Egypt and discovered by means of infrared remote sensing, renewed the interest on the archaeological surveys aided by satellites. Here we propose the use of images, obtained from those of Google Maps after some processing to enhance their details, to locate archaeological remains in Egypt.
A recent announcement of some pyramids, buried under the sand of Egypt and discovered by means of infrared remote sensing, renewed the interest on the archaeological surveys aided by satellites. Here we propose the use of images, obtained from those of Google Maps after some processing to enhance their details, to locate archaeological remains in Egypt.

More info:

Published by: Amelia Carolina Sparavigna on Jun 02, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial Share Alike

Availability:

Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less

06/02/2011

pdf

text

original

 
 
The satellite archaeological survey of Egypt
Amelia Carolina SparavignaDipartimento di Fisica,Politecnico di Torino, Torino, Italy
A recent announcement of some pyramids, buried under the sand of Egypt and discovered by meansof infrared remote sensing, renewed the interest on the archaeological surveys aided by satellites.Here we propose the use of images, obtained from those of Google Maps after some processing toenhance their details, to locate archaeological remains in Egypt.A recent announcement from BBC of 17 new pyramids discovered in Egypt arouses the interest onthe archaeology aided by satellites imagery [1]. These pyramids, as many other ancient remains inEgypt, are under the sand of the desert. They were discovered by means of a remote sensing withinfrared sensors. In fact, the archaeological surveys, usually performed by means of airplanes, arenecessary to observing the sites from above and gain a better view of the landforms. In some cases,the survey of a region ends with the discovery of new archaeological sites or with the preciselocation of an ancient lost town [2].Satellites give different opportunities, according to their sensorial equipment. BBC announced thatSarah Parcak, of the University of Alabama, used some data from NASA infrared equippedsatellites to survey the Egypt. Waiting for a more detailed report on her researches and on themethods the team used, we can just tell that the infrared inspection is based on collecting theradiances in various wavelength bands, in the infrared range of the electromagnetic spectrum. Theresulting profiles depend on the methods used to obtain the surface data from radiances. To have agood detection, the surface must be free from clouds.The Egypt's Minister of State for Antiquities Affairs, Zahi Hawass, seems to be quite interested tothe new technologies, but, as he told Ahram Online, the satellite infrared images are only able tolocate the remains beneath the sand [3]. It is then necessary, according to Hawass, to identify themwith archaeological researches on the spot. From the news on the Web it is not clear how manysites have been analyzed by the team of the University of Alabama. It seems that the amount of datacollected by the researchers is huge.Besides the analysis with infrared imagery, let us consider that there are other remote sensingtechniques that can be useful in archaeology: among them we have the LIDAR system, which is, aswe discussed in [4], able to see under the canopy of the forests, and the SIR-C/X-SAR imagingradar system, which has waves that can penetrate the clouds, and, under certain conditions,vegetation, ice and dry sand [5]. Of course, these facilities are not freely available and needsfinancial supports.We could then ask ourselves if a free satellite service, such as Google Maps, can help in somearchaeological researches in Egypt. It is my opinion that the answer is positive. In studying theMerowe Dam and the paleochannels of the Nile we could compare the images from SIR-C/X-SAR imaging radar system, with those of the Google Maps [6]. After a suitable image processing withsome freely downloadable programs (GIMP, IRIS, AstroFracTool,[7]), the Google Maps revealedastonishing details of the network of old buried channels of Nile in the Nubian region. The same for the "raised fields" near the Titicaca Lake in Peru: the processing of the images clearly displayed thenetwork of these ancient earthworks and canals [8]. Many of these structures are probably buriesunder some sediments of the lake.Let us then try to apply the image processing to the Google Maps of those areas in Egypt, whereaccording to the press, the infrared satellite imagery is giving good results. We see that one of these
 
 
investigated areas is that of Tanis, a town of the ancient Egypt. In Fig.1, it is shown what we canhave after processing the image from Google Maps. The upper part of the figure is obtained usingthe GIMP image- processing program, to adjust brightness and contrast. The lower part is gainedafter a processing with the wavelet filtering of Iris. These images seem to contain quite clear information on the buried town too.Another example is the site where there are buried pyramids, according to the press [9,10]. The siteis at Saqqara: Figure 2 shows the area as can be seen after a processing of Google Maps. The reader is invited to compare these images with those published on the Web, copyrighted BBC. I guess thatafter comparison, the reader can draw some positive conclusions about Google Maps and its use for an archaeological survey of Egypt. I am proposing another example of the use of image processingin Fig.3. This is the Great Temple at Amarna, buried under the sand (more images at [11]).As Zahi Hawass is telling, it is necessary to understand whether some “anomalies” revealed by thesatellite remote sensing are archaeological remains or not. This means that archaeology can onlyreceive benefits for geophysics researches and the related use of remote sensing.
References.
1. Egyptian pyramids found by infra-red satellite images, F. Cronin, BBC New, 24 May 2011,http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-13522957 2. Documentation of the Abandoned Town La Ciudad Perdida in Peru Combining VHR SatelliteData and Terrestrial Measurement, K. Pavelka, M. Bukovinsky, J. Svatuskova, Remote Sensing for Science, Education and Natural and Cultural Heritage, Rainer Reuter Ed., EARSeL, 2010.3. News broadcast by BBC is inaccurate, says Hawass, N. El-Aref, Ahramonline, 26 May 2011,http://english.ahram.org.eg/ 4. Lines under the forest, A.C. Sparavigna, http://www.archaeogate.org/, andhttp://arxiv.org/abs/1105.5277.5. SIR-C X-SAR Earth-Imaging Radar for NASA's Mission to Planet Earth, Infopage.6. The Merowe Dam on the Nile, A.C. Sparavigna, http://www.archaeogate.org/, and, Merowe Damand the inundation of paleochannels of the Nile, A.C. Sparavigna,http://arxiv.org/abs/arXiv:1011.4911.7. Enhancing the Google imagery using a wavelet filter, A.C. Sparavigna,http://arxiv.org/abs/1009.1590.8. The geoglyphs of Titicaca, A.C. Sparavigna, http://www.archaeogate.org/ and Symboliclandforms created by ancient earthworks near Lake Titicaca, A.C. Sparavigna,http://arxiv.org/abs/1009.2231.9.http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1390667/Seventeen-lost-pyramids-thousands- buried-Egyptian-settlements-pinpointed-infrared-satellite-images.html?ito=feeds-newsxml, and alsohttp://www.allvoices.com/contributed-news/9202577-egyptian-pyramids-found-by-infrared-satellite-images 10. In my opinion, the published images at [9] are not the real infrared images of the AlabamaUniversity team, but this is what is published on the web.11. Some image processing on Amarna, https://sites.google.com/site/amarnasatelliteimagery/
 
 
Fig.1: Tanis as can be observed after processing an image from Google Maps. In the upper part, brightness and contrast had been adjusted with GIMP. The lower image was obtained with awavelet filtering with Iris. It seems that the image is giving quite good details too.

You're Reading a Free Preview

Download
scribd
/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->