This paper deals with a UAV LiDAR methodological approach for the identification and extraction of archaeological features under canopy in hilly Mediterranean environments, characterized by complex topography and strong erosion. The presence of trees and undergrowth makes the reconnaissance of archaeological features and remains very difficult, while the erosion, increased by slope, tends to adversely affect the microtopographical features of potential archaeological interest, thus making them hardly identifiable. For the purpose of our investigations, a UAV LiDAR survey has been carried out at Perticara (located in Basilicata southern Italy), an abandoned medieval village located in a geologically fragile area, characterized by complex topography, strong erosion, and a dense forest cover. All of these characteristics pose serious challenge issues and make this site particularly significant and attractive for the setting and testing of an optimal LiDAR-based approach to analyze hilly forested regions searching for subtle archaeological features. The LiDAR based investigations were based on three steps: (i) field data acquisition and data pre-processing, (ii) data post-processing, and (iii) semi-automatic feature extraction method based on machine learning and local statistics. The results obtained from the LiDAR based analyses (successfully confirmed by the field survey) made it possible to identify the lost medieval village that represents an emblematic case of settlement abandoned during the crisis of the late Middle Ages that affected most regions in southern Italy.

UAV LiDAR Based Approach for the Detection and Interpretation of Archaeological Micro Topography under Canopy—The Rediscovery of Perticara (Basilicata, Italy)

Nicola Masini
;
Nicodemo Abate;Fabrizio Terenzio Gizzi;Valentino Vitale;Antonio Minervino Amodio;Rosa Lasaponara;Mario Bentivenga;
2022-01-01

Abstract

This paper deals with a UAV LiDAR methodological approach for the identification and extraction of archaeological features under canopy in hilly Mediterranean environments, characterized by complex topography and strong erosion. The presence of trees and undergrowth makes the reconnaissance of archaeological features and remains very difficult, while the erosion, increased by slope, tends to adversely affect the microtopographical features of potential archaeological interest, thus making them hardly identifiable. For the purpose of our investigations, a UAV LiDAR survey has been carried out at Perticara (located in Basilicata southern Italy), an abandoned medieval village located in a geologically fragile area, characterized by complex topography, strong erosion, and a dense forest cover. All of these characteristics pose serious challenge issues and make this site particularly significant and attractive for the setting and testing of an optimal LiDAR-based approach to analyze hilly forested regions searching for subtle archaeological features. The LiDAR based investigations were based on three steps: (i) field data acquisition and data pre-processing, (ii) data post-processing, and (iii) semi-automatic feature extraction method based on machine learning and local statistics. The results obtained from the LiDAR based analyses (successfully confirmed by the field survey) made it possible to identify the lost medieval village that represents an emblematic case of settlement abandoned during the crisis of the late Middle Ages that affected most regions in southern Italy.
2022
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11563/162886
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