SAR for Landscape Archaeology

  • Deodato TapeteEmail author
  • Francesca Cigna
Part of the Geotechnologies and the Environment book series (GEOTECH, volume 16)


This chapter provides an overview of the opportunities that image analysts, archaeologists, and conservation scientists currently have by using space-borne synthetic aperture radar (SAR) imagery for purposes of landscape archaeology. The latter in this context is meant as the discipline to study and interpret the anthropogenic impact on past and present landscapes, alongside the environmental and land surface processes that can alter the condition of heritage assets. The benefits of the recent developments in SAR satellite sensors toward higher resolution (up to less than 1 m) and shorter revisiting times (up to a few days) are discussed in relationship to established techniques using the two key SAR parameters—amplitude and phase—to detect subtle archaeological features in modern landscapes, monitor sites, and assess damage in areas of conflict.


Synthetic aperture radar Landscape archaeology Radar backscatter Change detection Polarimetry DEM Nasca Syria 



TerraSAR-X and TanDEM-X imagery of Syrian sites were provided by the German Aerospace Center (DLR) via the TSX-New-Modes-2013 LAN2377 and TDX XTI-HYDR0399 grants. ENVISAT ASAR data over Apamea (Syria) and the Nasca region (Peru) were provided by ESA via the Cat-1 projects id. 28439 and 11073, respectively. Data processing was carried out using GAMMA SAR and Interferometry Software licensed to BGS, NERC. The authors publish with the permission of the Executive Director of BGS, NERC.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Natural Environment Research Council, British Geological SurveyKeyworthUK

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