The paper concerns the use of multitemporal high-resolution satellite images for the study of the ancient city of Ur, in southern Mesopotamia, inaccessible to scholars from 2003. The acquired dataset is composed by two Gambit KH-7 (1966) and one Corona KH-4B (1968) declassified spy space photos and by few images taken by the recent satellites for civilian use QuickBird-2 (2002, 2004, 2007), Ikonos-2 (2008), and WorldView-1 (2008). The processing of all these images and the integration with ASTER and SRTM DEMs allowed the acquisition of new data about the topographical layout of the city and its monuments and ancient roads; the georeferencing of all archaeological remains and traces visible on the images allowed the upgrade of the archaeological map of Ur. The research also provided important data concerning the reconstruction of the surrounding landscape, where a lot of traces of old channels and riverbeds of the Euphrates were identified in areas much modified and altered during the last decades by urbanization and agricultural works. Moreover, the multitemporal images allowed the monitoring of the conservation of the archaeological area, particularly before and after second Gulf War.
Di Giacomo, G., & Scardozzi, G. (2012). Multitemporal High-Resolution Satellite Images for the Study and Monitoring of an Ancient Mesopotamian City and its Surrounding Landscape: The Case of Ur. International Journal of Geophysics, 2012, 1–14. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/716296