Digital Methods and Remote Sensing in Archaeology

Maurizio Forte

M. Forte, S.R.L. Campana (Eds.)
Digital Methods and Remote Sensing in Archaeology
Archaeology in the Age of Sensing

Series: Quantitative Methods in the Humanities and Social Sciences
▶ Shares current research from an innovative field with immediate implications for scholars working 
in history, archaeology & geoarchaeology, geography, cultural heritage methodology, and the earth 
sciences more broadly
▶ Represents cross-disciplinary topics at the intersection of the
humanities and hard sciences
▶ Includes topics for collecting, interpreting, and sharing data from remote and close range 
sensing, 3D modeling, spatial technologies, and virtual landscapes

This volume debuts the new scope of Remote Sensing, which was first defined as the analysis of data 
collected by sensors that were not in physical contact with the objects under investigation (using 
cameras, scanners, and radar systems operating from spaceborne or airborne platforms). A wider 
characterization is now possible: Remote Sensing can be any non-destructive approach to viewing the 
buried and nominally invisible evidence of past activity. Spaceborne and airborne sensors, now 
supplemented by laser scanning, are united using ground-based geophysical instruments and undersea 
remote sensing, as well as other non-invasive techniques such as surface collection
or field-walking survey. Now, any method that enables observation of evidence on or beneath the 
surface of the earth, without impact on the surviving stratigraphy, is
legitimately within the realm of Remote Sensing. The new interfaces and senses engaged in Remote 
Sensing appear throughout the book. On a philosophical level, this is about the landscapes and 
built environments that reveal history through place and time. It is about new perspectives—the 
views of history possible with Remote Sensing and fostered in part by immersive, interactive 3D and 
4D environments discussed in this volume. These perspectives are both the result and the 
implementation of technological, cultural, and epistemological advances in record keeping, 
interpretation, and conceptualization.
Methodology presented here builds on the current ease and speed in collecting data   sets on the 
scale of the object, site, locality, and landscape. As this volume shows, many disciplines 
surrounding archaeology and related cultural studies are currently involved  in
Remote Sensing, and its relevance will only increase as the methodology expands.