Investigating Luoyang by Remote Sensing: First Results
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Since the launch of the Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB) initiative in China, archaeological prospection has been increasingly emphasized by archaeologists, scientists, and government officials to uncover the civilization of the past and the evidence of the friendship between West and East. Compared with traditional field archaeology, remote sensing is an irreplaceable tool in archaeological investigations, taking advantage of large spatial coverage and high-spectral sensitivity to anomalies linking the occurrence of buried relics. In the framework of a Chinese–Italian bilateral project entitled “Smart Management of Cultural Heritage Sites in Italy and China: Earth Observation and Pilot Project,” in 2014 we undertook preliminary investigations on some test sites in Han-Wei capital city and Dingding Gate in Luoyang City toassess the performance of remote sensing, including space-borne synthetic aperture radar (SAR), unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), and the surface geoelectrical method for the detection of archaeological features. The investigations have been planned considering that the characteristics of the expected archaeological features and the subsoil are not ideal for applications based on the use of remote sensing and geophysics. In fact, past archaeological excavations unearthed deep walls built in rammed earth with stone foundations covered by clayey soil. The aim of this preliminary investigation campaign has been to provide indications for a cost-efficient scientific mission to be conducted in the future on wider areas in Luoyang with the prospect of performing archaeological excavations.
KeywordsSAR ERT UAV Archaeological prospection Luoyang China
This work was supported by funding from the Hundred Talents Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) (Y5YR0300QM), Youth Director Fund Category-A of Institute of Remote Sensing and Digital Earth, CAS (Y5ZZ02101B), and the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the framework of the Great Relevance Project “Smart management of cultural heritage sites in Italy and China: Earth observation and pilot projects.”
Author Contributions Fulong Chen, Nicola Masini, and Rosa Lasaponara did the SAR data processing and methodology development. Fulong Chen together with Nicola Masini designed the research. UAV surveys have been performed by Ruixia Yang and processed by Antonio Pecci. Geophysical data have been acquired and processed by Enzo Rizzo and Gerardo Romano. Fulong Chen, Nicola Masini, Rosa Lasaponara, and Enzo Rizzo have interpreted the results of remote sensing and geophysical investigations. Fulong Chen and Nicola Masini drafted the manuscript. All authors contributed to the field campaign as well as the finalization of this paper.
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