A Satellite Remote Sensing Model for the Ancient Traffic in Upper Mesopotamia

Author(s): Tuna Kalayci

Year: 2017


Roads reflect motivations and needs behind many relations of past societies; they imposed spatial order on agricultural production, enabled transportation of bulk-goods, and mediated hegemonic power. Considered not only as the container of action, but also the action itself, the road has much more to say on the ancient movement praxis. This study focuses on Bronze Age roads (hollow ways) in Upper Mesopotamia. At this space-time, the movement embedded within production economies contributed to the formation of hollow ways. In pursuit of this phenomenon, the study constructs a typology of roads based on the volume of ancient traffic. Therefore, the aim is not only to document locations of hollow ways –the container, but to build a model for the movement – the action.

It is hypothesized that variations in the ancient traffic differentially changed soil physical characteristics (soil compaction/moisture) so that past variation in traffic is still detectable on satellite data. In particular, CORONA is deployed for a remote sensing based archaeological survey of hollow ways. Next, Near-Infrared and Short-wavelength Infrared portions of the spectrum are exploited to generate proxy variables (vegetation/moisture indices). Finally, these proxy variables are used to model variations in ancient traffic on hollow ways.

Cite this Record

A Satellite Remote Sensing Model for the Ancient Traffic in Upper Mesopotamia. Tuna Kalayci. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431601)


Spatial Coverage

min long: 25.225; min lat: 15.115 ; max long: 66.709; max lat: 45.583 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 15834