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Remote Assessments of Site Damage: A New Ontology

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Emma CunliffeORCiD


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The archaeology of the Middle East is of immense significance to the history of mankind. However, due to modern development and the expansion of irrigation and agriculture, this priceless heritage is being damaged and lost at an unprecedented rate. It is neither practical, nor in many cases, possible, to visit sites to determine the extent of damage. Satellite imagery offers an unparalleled opportunity to assess and quantify the damage sites are experiencing. However, remote assessments present a new set of challenges in how to record aspects of damage which cannot be confirmed in the field, such as site visibility, and site depth. This paper presents a new ontology of damage, developed specifically for use in assessing sites remotely. In addition, it offers ways to incorporate additional factors such as site visibility on imagery. Whilst it was developed during an assessment of Syrian sites, it has far wider applicability.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Cunliffe E

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal Heritage in the Digital Era

Year: 2014

Volume: 3

Issue: 3

Pages: 435-474

Print publication date: 01/12/2014

Online publication date: 01/09/2014

Acceptance date: 01/05/2014

ISSN (print): 2047-4970

ISSN (electronic): 2047-4989

Publisher: Sage


DOI: 10.1260/2047-4970.3.3.453


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