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
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.