UAV-BASED ARCHAEOLOGICAL 3D MONITORING: A RURALSCAPE CASE IN IRAQI KURDISTAN
Keywords: UAV photogrammetry, DSM, 3D mapping, SURF, orthophoto, cultural heritage, archaeological monitoring, ruralscape
Abstract. Recently rapid mapping techniques based on UAV photogrammetry increasingly help on-site archaeological documentation works. Multi-temporal data are specifically crucial in diachronic investigation research, and for this purpose the data co-registration and integration can support the accurate 3D digitization of excavation phases and make coherent topological relation among them and phases-related stratigraphic units’ data. In this framework, the level of automation and accuracy control are challenging aspects to streamline the documentation process during excavation activities, however all experimentation phases must be tested and validated in the actual archaeological context, where the boundary conditions are typically demanding. This research is developed during the collaboration project with Cà Foscari University of Venice, started in 2022 campaign, in the excavation site of Tell Zeyd, in Iraqi Kurdistan, The Tell Zeyd Archaeological Project (ZAP) aims to study the rural landscape of the hinterland of Mosul in the long Islamic period, from the Arab conquest in the 7th century to the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire with the First World War, as an ideal observatory on the characteristics of the settlement in its spatial organisation, places of worship, production installations and facilities for storing foodstuffs. The research aims to present the preliminary test and results on an experimental documentation activity based on multi-scale UAV mapping strategy and training with the archaeological expert group, and particularly for automatic co-registration of multi-temporal data, considering different images datasets epochs belonging to subsequent excavation phases.