From Above and on the Ground: Geospatial Methods for Recording Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa

Abstract

The EAMENA (Endangered Archaeology of the Middle East and North Africa) project is a collaboration between the Universities of Leicester, Oxford and Durham; it is funded by the Arcadia Fund and the Cultural Protection Fund. This paper explores the development of the EAMENA methodology, and discusses some of the problems of working across such a broad region. We discuss two main case studies: the World Heritage site of Cyrene illustrates how the project can use satellite imagery (dating from the 1960s to 2017), in conjunction with published data to create a detailed set of database records for a single site and, in particular, highlights the impact of modern urban expansion across the region. Conversely, the Homs Cairns case study demonstrates how the EAMENA methodology also works at an extensive scale, and integrates image interpretation (using imagery dating from the 1960s to 2016), landuse mapping and field survey (2007–2010) to record and analyse the condition of hundreds of features across a small study region. This study emphasises the impact of modern agricultural and land clearing activities. Ultimately, this paper assesses the effectiveness of the EAMENA approach, evaluating its potential success against projects using crowd-sourcing and automation for recording archaeological sites, and seeks to determine the most appropriate methods to use to document sites and assess disturbances and threats across such a vast and diverse area.

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Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Rayne2017FromAA, title={From Above and on the Ground: Geospatial Methods for Recording Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa}, author={Louise Rayne and Jennie Bradbury and David M. Mattingly and Robert I. Bewley and A. B. Kinnier Wilson}, year={2017} }