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Durham University

The Fragile Crescent Project

Satellite Imagery Analysis

The area of interest in Fragile Crescent Project (FCP) is extending from the Mediterranean sea to Mosul in Iraq, and from the south part of Homs project (see Vanishing Landscapes) to the North well into Turkey, thus covering an area of 700 x 500km. In order to work in such a large area, it is vital to digitally recreate the landscape and thus take advantage of Geographical Information Systems (GIS). So as to achieve this, a large collection of historical maps has been utilised and digitised. Because the maps contain information selected by the respective cartographer, it has been decided to also recreate the landscape through the use of satellite imagery, as it is extremely difficult due to time constraints and military restrictions to find and work with aerial photography. For the recreation of the landscape before much of the modern development took place the CORONA imagery has been selected for its historical value and the spatial resolution. This will provide the project an image of the landscape as it was in late 1960s. Furthermore it will provide a digital elevation model (DEM) of the area in a non-preceded resolution and coverage (Galiatsatos et al., 2008). The modern landscape will be recreated with the use of the recently freely provided Landsat imagery. This will also give us the chance to detect changes in the landscape and thus identify archaeological landscapes of destruction and survival in the area of interest. It will allow us to move from the local to the regional and from static to dynamic descriptions of the landscape (Kouchoukos, 2002), and thus recognise patterns and extract information that will help us understand more about the past. The variety of the data will improve the quality of the extracted information and provide and improved picture of the contemporary landscape. Through inferences it provides an enhanced picture of the past environment.