Archaeological excavations in Syria.
Björn Menze of mit and Jason Ur from Harvard have developed a computerized method for the detection of ancient settlements based on satellite data and found the network of cities on the territory of modern Syria.
To search for settlements of ancient Mesopotamia on the territory of 23 thousand square kilometers archaeologists have worked in two directions at once. First, they used satellite images in different wavelength ranges to detect the so-called etrozole, – soils formed as a result of human activity and differing in color and higher content of organic substances. Data were processed automatically using a program written by one of the co-authors of the work, björn Menze, a specialist in the identification of tumors on digital images.
Secondly, the archaeologists used a bump map created in the framework of the program the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission using a radiosonde which was carried out in 2000, the Shuttle “endeavour”. Scholars interested in the place of exaltation of the landscape above the surrounding areas, what to maklovitsami about the long construction at this point. Analyzing the amount of elevation, the authors concluded that the duration of the existence of a settlement.
The resulting map contained about 14 thousands of alleged settlements that occurred in the study area over 8 thousand years. Archeologists noted that when comparing map data with the distribution of rivers and areas of heavy precipitation events, failed to detect large settlements that don’t provide sufficient water. A mismatch may affect the current view of archaeologists about the origin of irrigation, they said.
Archaeologists have already managed to use satellite data for the detection of ancient tombs in Saudi Arabia, Syria, Cambodia and other countries, however, this was done primarily by hand and not on such a large area. The basis for the analysis served as shots in different lighting ranges, with which we analyzed the composition of the soil.