Archeological imagery is the integration of
imaging techonology, imagery analytical techniques and the formalized tasking and collection from a variety of sources and multispectral analysis. The concept follows the example of the intelligence communityfrom World War Iand onward. This is because the introduction of aerial collection made it necessary to organize and orient the staff system first towards a multi-disciplined and later a multispectralapproach.
The first focus is that of managing limited collection resources. In the case of the early days of photo intelligence, low resolution was a more useful and economical approach. Higher resolution would reveal more specific information, but was to be used sparingly. This is where economy plays an important role. If you take into account that low resolution is perfectly suited for most archaeological applications, the more exotic imaging platforms are both unnecessary and much more expensive. As in the example given on how tasking was developed, its a question of getting the most information economically.
I. In a drier environment, the physical layout of a given area helps to determine promising sites that in turn allows multispectral coverage or ground based sensing that finalizes the surveying process, making excavation the last step. Let's take the
Sinaias an example:
"a. Military."Determining how the ancient Egyptians accessed the
coppermines in the southwest, an overland route is dismissed because of the need for garrisons along the way.
'2. Terrain Analysis.'The northern part of
Egyptis almost completely featureless. The practical way to access the mines would have been to access the eastward valley just north of present-day Cairoto the Red Seajust south of present-day Port Said. From there they would sail to the western shore of the Sinai, turning south and reach the coastal plain at present-day Ras Abu Rudeis, the mine's being close by.
'3. The tasking of collection assets.'Terrain analysis(low-resolution photo) has now made it possible to look at the following locations: The route towards the embarcation point, underwater exploration of both ports(underwater surveying) and the route towards both mines.
II. A more humid environment makes it necessary to include synthetic aperture radar that make stones cities and temple complexes stand out. (low resolution photo terrain analysis indicates probable locations which cues in radar imaging to examine and confirm these locations).
Aerial collection, just in the case of the military, significantly changes how Archaeology's scope and operation is currently done. The information flow, economy and timeliness greatly benefits the efficiency of collection in this field. The most important benefit is to include a multisourced, multispectral approach that accelerates the discovery of new sites.
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