European Association of Remote Sensing Laboratories

(Special Interest Group)
Remote Sensing for Archeology, Cultural and natural Heritage (ReSeArCH)

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The importance of applying remote sensing as a non destructive tool to uncover remains of ancient human occupation and past archaeological landscapes has been highlighted by national and international space agencies such as NASA and ESA, promoted by UNESCO and now recognized by archaeologists and remote sensing scientific community.

In this favourable cultural framework and in collaboration with UNESCO, in June 2007 EARSeL launched the Special Interest Group (SIG) on Remote Sensing for Archaeology, Cultural and natural Heritage (ReSeArCH) chaired by Rosa Lasaponara from CNR-IMAA, Nicola Masini from CNR-IBAM, and Mario Hernadez from UNESCO.

Over the years the SIG organized international conferences and workshops to explore the emerging capabilities and strategic challenges in the field of Remote Sensing in Archaeology.

The I International EARSEL Workshop on “Advances in Remote Sensing for Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Management“ took place in Rome, 2008 September 30 to October 4. A large scientific community composed of archaeologists, geophysicists, experts in aerial archaeology, remote sensing and geomatics, gave rise to a lively debate on the potential, limitations and overlook of traditional and novel Earth Observation Technologies for archaeology and cultural heritage management applications.

The discussions of the successful Rome Workshop stimulated and addressed the dissemination activity of the SIG towards a rich scientific production with the publication of the Proceedings, four special issues on international journals, a book published by Springer entitled “Satellite Remote Sensing: A New Tool for Archaeology”.

These publications mainly deal with the use of Remote Sensing for site-discovery, investigation and reconstruction of historical landscapes, documentation monitoring and management of cultural heritage, methodological issues related to the information extraction and integration of different data sources.

The interest of the scientific community increased over years, thus pushing the SIG ReSeArCH to yearly organize dedicated sessions on Cultural heritage within EARSEL Symposia (Chania 2009, Paris 2010, Prague 2011, Mykonos 2012) and the joint workshop with AARG in Poznan (2011 September).

The last event was the IV International Workshop on “Advances in Remote Sensing for Archaeology and Cultural Heritage Management” which took place in Matera on June 6-7, 2013.