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Google Scholar. Elfadaly, A. Masini, N. Lasaponara, R. Abate, N. Need Help? Support Find support for a specific problem in the support section of our website. Get Support. Feedback Please let us know what you think of our products and services. Give Feedback. Get Information. Open Access Article. Abdelaziz Elfadaly. Nicola Masini. Rosa Lasaponara. Remote Sens. This paper is focused on the use of satellite Sentinel-2 data for assessing their capability in the identification of archaeological buried remains.

The investigations were performed using multi-temporal Sentinel-2 data and spectral indices, commonly used in satellite-based archaeology, and herein analyzed in known archaeological areas to capture the spectral atures of soil and crop marks and characterize their temporal behavior using Time Series Analysis and Spectral Un-mixing.

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Tasseled Cap Transformation and Principal Component Analysis have been also adopted to enhance archaeological features. from investigations were compared with independent data sources and enabled us to i characterize the spectral atures of soil and crop marks, ii assess the performance of the diverse spectral channels and indices, and iii identify the best period of the year to capture the archaeological proxy indicators.

Additional very important of our investigations were i the discovery of unknown archaeological areas and ii the setup of a database of archaeological features devised ad hoc to characterize and categorize the diverse typologies of archaeological remains detected using Sentinel-2 Data.

Keywords: big data; Sentinel-2; multispectral data; features enhancement; landscape archaeology; archaeological proxy indicators; Apulia; Neolithic settlements big data ; Sentinel-2 ; multispectral data ; features enhancement ; landscape archaeology ; archaeological proxy indicators ; Apulia ; Neolithic settlements. Introduction Earth observation EO technologies are increasingly recognized as extremely effective for the documentation, preservation, and management of cultural heritage CHand today considered a priority at European and international level with important cultural, social, and economic repercussions.

The current challenge is not only to preserve cultural heritage for future generations for its uniqueness, historical value, and cultural importance but also to make cultural heritage properties accessible and usable in a sustainable way SDG agenda In this context, remote sensing RS data can be very useful and supportive, so that Earth observation techniques for cultural heritage is now moving from a highly specialized niche sector to a consolidated reality ready to enter into a new period, characterized by the exploitation of new resources that space has to offer, as in the case of Copernicus satellite data [ 4 ].

Archaeological research can particularly benefit from remote sensing tools that already proved to be extremely useful, at diverse scale of analysis from single site up to a landscape level including Landscape Archaeology. The development of big data analysis and the availability of open data and source software has further pushed the use of Earth observation techniques as useful tools for cultural heritage, with particular reference to archaeology, in the discovery, protection, and preservation activities [ 123 ]. In this context, Copernicus satellite data available free of chargeas those provided by Sentinel-2, can open new strategic challenges addressed to the exploitation, as much as possible, of the available open data [ 456 ].

Recently, a few studies assessed the potentiality of Sentinel-2 data in cultural heritage domain, including archaeological heritage monitoring, landscape archaeology, and the detection of archaeological proxy indicators, as in:. Agapiou et al. Zanni and De Rosa who identified and reconstructed the ancient viability between the Roman cities of Aquileia Aquileia, Italy and Singidunum Belgrade, Serbiaby means vegetation indices derived from Sentinel-2 data [ 8 ]. Khalaf and Insol who explored open source satellite imagery, including Sentinel-2 for the monitoring and protection of Islamic archaeological landscapes in Ethiopia [ 9 ].

Kalayci et al. Abate et al.

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Today, the main scientific challenges to face are linked to the following questions, related to the general use of satellite Earth observation in archaeology and, more specifically, to issues related to the use of Sentinel-2 for archaeological investigations: i Is it possible to capture the spectral atures of archaeological proxy indicators as soil and crop marks considering that the identification of archaeological features is a very complex issue because they are a very subtle anomalies linked to presence of buried remains and, moreover, b not permanent al but only visible in specific observational conditions?

To provide a contribution in this context, this paper focuses on the use of satellite Sentinel-2 data for assessing their capability at diverse scales of analyses from single site up to a landscape level, i. In the past the area herein investigated has been widely studied also using very high resolution satellite data as QuickBird, World View [ 13 ], geophysical prospection [ 1415 ], along with manned [ 1617181920 ] and unmanned aerial archaeology prospection [ 21 ].

Archaeological recorders along with knowledge and information already available in GIS environment are herein adopted as ground truth [ 222324252627 ] to assess the potentiality of Sentinel-2 data in known archaeological sites related to different periods and civilizations, from Neolithic era to Greek-Roman and Middle Ages [ 282930313233 ]. A multitemporal — Sentinel-2 data set is herein analyzed to characterize the spectral atures of soil and crop marks and capture their temporal behavior, being that they are not permanent but only visible in specific observational conditions.

The paper is organized as follows, we described in Section 1 1. It is a plain area largely cultivated olive trees and vines since prehistorical times, being one of the areas where agriculture developed in Europe [ 22 ]. The Tavoliere was selected as a test area for a huge amount of Free dating Foggia data and archaeological records available in GIS environment and, therefore, represents an excellent starting point for the analysis and validation of outputs from satellite Sentinel-2 data.

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The WebGIS of the Italian Ministry of the Environment, along with the CartApulia WebGIS, and the WebGIS data of the Ministry and the Region of Puglia, provided: i high-resolution aerial images; ii high-resolution satellite images; iii LiDAR 1x1m; iv historical cartography; v modern and ancient toponymy; vi geo-localized points with references to well-known archaeological sites from archives, surveys and excavation, etc. Moreover, the flat morphology of the area along with its agricultural vocation and, therefore, the availability of large spaces free Free dating Foggia buildings, made it an ideal place to test satellite Sentinel-2 capability for landscape archaeology.

The area is widely recognized as one the most important regions in the world for the presence of Neolithic settlements, dated between the 6th and 4th millennium BC. In Italy the spread of farming is traditionally associated with Tavoliere where, since their discovery between the late s and s through aerial photographs, a great of studies have been conducted [ 16 ]. These settlements are medium to large sized ditched villages, characterized by circular shape, composed of huts surrounded by circular ditches small compounds.

They are often found along the rivers which were a source of food being rich of fish and other edible aquatic resources and of course, a major source of fresh water for drinking and irrigationand also an effective communication system [ 232534 ]. The Tavoliere is also very rich in archaeological remains not only related to the Neolithic period but also to other important periods from Bronze Age onwards. As an example, near the town of Arpi Nova, north-west of Foggia, there is the archaeological site of Arpi, datable to the 2nd millennium BC Bronze Age [ 38 ].

In this period, this area was inhabited by the Daunians, hence the eponymous region of Daunia, which extended from the Ofanto river in the southeast to the Gargano peninsula in the northwest. Daunia underwent the influences of Greek civilization and Magna Graecia from the end of the 5th Free dating Foggia BC.

During the Roman period, the most important town was Lucera which still preserves an amphitheatre of the Augustan period [ 39 ]. Later on, a rich cultural variety followed during the medieval period with the contribution of Byzantines, Longobards, and Saracens th century AD.

The Tavoliere conserved its importance with the Normans 12th century and reached its peak with the Emperor Frederick II of Swabiawho built new castles and fortified existing settlements, among which was Lucera [ 24 ]. The long and complex history of the Tavoliere is reflected in the very rich archaeological evidences found across the area, studied by means of numerous archaeological excavations and investigations also based on the use of aerial archaeology.

In the case of Neolithic settlements, they are circular or sub-circular features of different sizes, from a few meters to one kilometer diameter [ 41 ] and linked to traces of buried structures or anthropogenic transformations of landscape. In more recent times, the area of Foggia has been investigated also using advanced remote sensing techniques as very high-resolution satellite data, drones, and geophysical prospection [ 131415 ].

Over the years, past archaeological studies along with the interest of the Italian and worldwide scientific community for the Tavoliere area produced numerous papers and bibliographic references, very useful to define and date the archaeological features. In the last twenty years, in the whole region thanks to the activity of Soprintendenza and universities, over sites of archaeological interest were surveyed, and in some cases also excavated, and further investigated using Earth observation techniques [ 4243 ].

So that in addition to the prehistoric remains characterized by the circular features herein typical of the Neolithic settlementsstudies based on aerial archaeology identified other geometric features, potentially linked to archaeological remains of different historical periods. For example, quadrangular shapes or parallel linear traces were refereed, on the basis of metric analysis, to the Roman period as confirmed by excavations which unearthed Roman rural farms, villas, and centuriations [ 4445 ].

Sentinel-2 satellite constellations have been developed in the framework of the European Commission Copernicus Programme for security and risk monitoring [ 456 ] and are managed by the European Space Agency ESA. Multispectral images are very useful for archaeologists to identify ancient buried structures or anthropogenic transformation of landscape. The most useful bands for the identification of archaeological markers are: visible 0. The usefulness of medium and high-resolution satellite data is well established and the procedures for the identification of buried structures are well described in Earth observation studies applied to cultural heritage and aerial archaeology [ 74148 ].

In particular, the presence of buried structures or anthropogenic transformation with high impact on the landscape ditches, trenches, etc. In the presence of crop, these anomalies are evident from above as differences in the growth or health of the vegetation, or, for bare soil as differences in soil moisture and surface temperature dynamics thermal gradient [ 49 ].

studies suggested that NIR Near Infrared channels and red generally increase the visibility of crop- and soil-marks, respectively [ 50 ]. Therefore, in the current study, along with the single spectral channels, spectral indices were also adopted, as listed following and detailed in Section 2. The investigation was performed using multi-temporal — Sentinel-2 multispectral dataset, already used in the field of remote sensing-based archaeology [ 1112 ]. These were further enhanced using iii Tasseled Cap Transformation and iv Principal Component Analysis which were selected because these were already used in Earth observation for archaeology [ 50 ].

Unfortunately, very few data in spring season during which generally the crop-marks are well visiblecould be fruitfully used due to the high cloud coverage. The data were pre-processed using SNAP v.

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