Science Service System

Summary of Proposal LAN1568

TitleGeoarchaeology in northern Jordan: reconstructing ancient land use in the Decapolis region
Investigator Lucke, Bernhard - FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute of Geography
Team Member
Prof. Dr. Braun, Matthias - FAU Erlangen-Nuremberg, Institute of Geography
Prof. Dr. Schöner, Günther - University of Vienna, Institute of Classical Archaeology
SummaryNormal021falsefalsefalseDEX-NONEX-NONEMicrosoftInternetExplorer4Severalauthors postu­lated that severe degradation of soils in Jordan and the Levant was caused by agricultural mismanagement anddeforestation. This idea served as explanation of historic develop­ments likedecay and abandonment of cities. However, historic field systems were partially preserved and are reflectedby distinct soil develop­ment, indicating that the impact of land use wasmore complex and less devastating than previously assumed. In contrast, there is evidence for a rapid and intense landscape change during the Late Byzantine period. This was probably caused by a significant shift to aridity which also triggered socio-economic changes in subsistence strategies from agriculture to nomadism. However, the vicinity of Abila was probably never abandoned and the continuity of place names speaks against a larger exchange of population. Air photos and satellite images provide evidence for the remains of man-made structures and land use systems, which were so far only occasionally investigated. The objectives of the proposed project are: 1) Systematic examination of satellite imagery with regard to remains of archaeological structures and ancient and historic land use systems. 2) Orientation of archaeological and geophysical field work according to the results of the evaluation of satellite imagery; double-check of selected features by ground investigations. 3) Comparison of the TerraSAR-X satellite images with historic maps, CORONA satellite images, and historic air photos (for selected places available from 1979 in the Institute of Geography) in order to to examine and separate recent landscape changes. Methods: On the basis of the satellite imagery, a terrain model will be made and be combined with geo-references historical air photos (as far as available). The images will be interpreted regionally and selected identified ancient land use structures will be subject to further investigation, such as soil analyses, geophysical research (geoelectrics, georadar, and geomagnetics), and archaeological surveys and excavation. Data requirements: The areas of interest are available on the TerraSar-X Stripmap from 2012-05-13, 2012-05-07, 2012-05-03, 2010-06-14, and ScanSar from 2011-05-17. The area of interest on the strip maps numbers approximately 30x20 km for the stripmaps and 50x70 km for the ScanSar. Deliverables: The deliverables will be a geoarchaeological interpretation of the satellite images and publication of the results in repective scientific journals. st1:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) } /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Normale Tabelle"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0cm; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:"Calibri","sans-serif"; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-bidi-font-family:"Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font:minor-bidi;}

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