Institute for Mediterranean Studies

Detection of neolithic settlements in thessaly (Greece) through multispectral and hyperspectral satellite imagery.

Thessaly is a low relief region in Greece where hundreds of Neolithic settlements/tells called magoules were established from the Early Neolithic period until the Bronze Age (6,000 - 3,000 BC). Multi-sensor remote sensing was applied to the study area in order to evaluate its potential to detect Neolithic settlements. Hundreds of sites were geo-referenced through systematic GPS surveying throughout the region. Data from four primary sensors were used, namely Landsat ETM, ASTER, EO1 - HYPERION and IKONOS. A range of image processing techniques were originally applied to the hyperspectral imagery in order to detect the settlements and validate the results of GPS surveying. Although specific difficulties were encountered in the automatic classification of archaeological features composed by a similar parent material with the surrounding landscape, the results of the research suggested a different response of each sensor to the detection of the Neolithic settlements, according to their spectral and spatial resolution.

  • Apostolos Sarris
  • Dimitrios Alexakis