The increasing availability of multiplatform, multiband, very-high-resolution (VHR) satellite synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data has attracted the attention of a growing number of scientists and archeologists. In particular, over the last two decades, archeological research has benefited from SAR development mainly due to its unique ability to acquire scenes both at night and during the day under all weather conditions, its penetration capability, and the provided polarimetric and interferometric information. This paper explored the potential of a novel method (nonlocal (NL)-SAR) using TerraSAR-X (TSX) and Constellation of Small Satellites for Mediterranean Basin Observation (COSMO)-SkyMed (CSK) data to detect buried archeological remains in steep, rugged terrain. In this investigation, two test sites were selected in southern Tunisia, home to some of the most valuable and well-preserved limes from the Roman Empire. To enhance the subtle signals linked to archeological features, the speckle noise introduced into SAR data by the environment and SAR system must be mitigated. Accordingly, the NL-SAR method was applied to SAR data pertaining to these two significant test sites. Overall, the investigation (i) revealed a fortified settlement from the Roman Empire and (ii) identified an unknown urban area abandoned during this period via a field survey, thus successfully confirming the capability of SAR data to reveal unknown, concealed archeological sites, even in areas with a complex topography.

On the Discovery of a Roman Fortified Site in Gafsa, Southern Tunisia, Based on High-Resolution X-Band Satellite Radar Data

Masini, N;
2022

Abstract

The increasing availability of multiplatform, multiband, very-high-resolution (VHR) satellite synthetic aperture radar (SAR) data has attracted the attention of a growing number of scientists and archeologists. In particular, over the last two decades, archeological research has benefited from SAR development mainly due to its unique ability to acquire scenes both at night and during the day under all weather conditions, its penetration capability, and the provided polarimetric and interferometric information. This paper explored the potential of a novel method (nonlocal (NL)-SAR) using TerraSAR-X (TSX) and Constellation of Small Satellites for Mediterranean Basin Observation (COSMO)-SkyMed (CSK) data to detect buried archeological remains in steep, rugged terrain. In this investigation, two test sites were selected in southern Tunisia, home to some of the most valuable and well-preserved limes from the Roman Empire. To enhance the subtle signals linked to archeological features, the speckle noise introduced into SAR data by the environment and SAR system must be mitigated. Accordingly, the NL-SAR method was applied to SAR data pertaining to these two significant test sites. Overall, the investigation (i) revealed a fortified settlement from the Roman Empire and (ii) identified an unknown urban area abandoned during this period via a field survey, thus successfully confirming the capability of SAR data to reveal unknown, concealed archeological sites, even in areas with a complex topography.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11563/156806
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