University of Southampton OCS (beta), CAA 2012

Font Size: 
An integrated remote sensing approach for regional geoarchaeology in northwestern India
Francesc Cecilia Conesa, Andrea Luca Balbo, Bernardo Rondelli, Marco Madella, P Ajithprasad

Last modified: 2012-01-07


Remote sensing (RS) data quality is improving exponentially. Ever higher resolution and acquisition facilities have become accessible in the last decade. In archaeology, satellite imagery has been widely used for detecting surface and subsurface anthropic features. In the last years the use of RS has been extended to reconstruct past environmental conditions, modelling subsistence strategies and evaluate conservation and visibility of the archaeological record (Lasaponara and Masini 2011). Here we present the use of RS data and newly acquired field data for the understanding of present geomorphology and taphonomic processes affecting geoarchaeological evidence preservation and visibility.


Our case study is based in North Gujarat, India, an ecotone region strongly affected by changes in seasonal precipitation and climate. The present physiography is the result of a “fossilized” landscape where records of environmental variability and settlement dynamics of hunter-gatherer and agro-pastoral communities during the Early to Middle Holocene are readily accessible.


Present work focuses on a) classification of regional main land covers, b) detection of sedimentary processes and c) changes in geomorphological features for a better understanding of settlement patterns.   Research propose a multiscale approach integrating: 1) multispectral response of vegetation and sediments on LANDSAT, ASTER, and IKONOS imagery; 2) regional altimetry (SRTM, ASTER GDEM, GPS survey); 3) historic maps and imagery (such as declassified CORONA); and 4) ground survey for validating remote sensing results (sediment analyses, plant cover, archaeological site location).


Preliminary results propose a definition of new socio-ecological patterns suggesting a different story of the transition from hunter-gathering to agropastoralism in north-western India