Spaced-based archaeological investigations
The work outlined in this thesis is the outcome of investigations of the use of space techniques for archaeological exploration. The unique capabilities of space observation like synoptic view, multi-spatial, multi-spectral and multi-temporal resolutions and stereo imaging are examined in the context of archaeological research. Archaeological sites with different land-cover and geomorphology are investigated for their influence in the choice of space imageries and adoption of appropriate image analysis and interpretation techniques. In this context three broad categories of sites were examined. The first category used multispectral imagery for detecting vegetation pattern. In Bengaluru, Belur, Halebidu and Somanathapura sites, present study has identified circumscribing moats, which reveals hitherto undetected layout pattern of ancient settlement. In another case, detection of vegetation patterns is used for studying palaeochannels of the ancient river system identified as Sarasvati in northwest India, to analyse distribution of Harappan sites enabling the identification of shift of clusters of sites over time. The second category explores applications of 3D visualization of landscapes. Different methods of generating 3D landscape models and their importance for cultural resource management has been investigated on the site of Badami. Study on Mahabalipuram has analysed impact of sea level changes by comparing a map of 1670 and recent satellite imagery, which throws new light on the mystery of the name Seven Pagodas for the site. In the third category a single site Talakadu is investigated using several techniques involving optical data of several dates, microwave, stereo and ground truth. This study has identified a canal and its command area, a reservoir, a bund and a palaeochannel, all of which are part of the old landscape. Pursuing this study called for establishment of image processing and analysis facility, and developing unique institutional framework for working closely with archaeologist and space scientists. The present work has unambiguously demonstrated that use of space techniques could be a powerful tool for archaeological exploration playing a complementary or supplementary role to the conventional methods.
Thesis submitted to the Department of Ancient History and Archaeology of University of Mysore, Mysore.