Session details


Friday May 05
Raum Karlsruhe
Visualisation: The first cities - archaeological remote sensing by satellite
Björn Menze/University of Heidelberg, Simone Mühl/University of Heidelberg

"Tell" is the Arab name for noticeable, anthropogenic hills in the populated plains of the Middle East. They are the remnants of pre-historic and early historical villages and cities and document important places representing thousands of years of human settlement. The origins of many Tells date back to the first phases of human settlement, about 8000-6000 BC, and some of them, as in the Syrian Aleppo, still mark the oldest part of a modern city. The evaluation of the data of different remote sensing modalities, bound to a purely virtual survey of vast areas of the Middle East, will be presented. This permits the production of a register of this early settlement system for the first time. The most important aids in this project are algorithms and pattern recognition. They refer, in the visual evaluation of the picture modalities, objectively to the most probable positions of the Tells.

Björn Menze studied physics in Heidelberg and Uppsala and is now studying towards a PhD at the "Interdisciplinary Centre for Scientific Calculation” (IWR) in Heidelberg. In the working group for multi-dimensional image processing, the primary research area is the classification of spectral data and the automatic detection and localization of brain tumours in magnet-resonance-spectroscopic pictures.

Simone Mühl studied early Asian archaeology in Heidelberg and completed her masters degree at the Institute for Archaeology (IAW) with a thesis on "The settlement history of Little Zab". She gained practical experience through working on various archaeological projects such as digs and survey projects in Yemen and Greece.

Björn Menze and Simone Mühl have been working together since Autumn 2005 as part of a Karl Steinbuch Scholarship on a project about the application of remote sensing methods in questions of the landscape archeology of the Middle East. They each work with their respective groups at the IWR (Professor F.A. Hamprecht) and at the IAW, University of Heidelberg (Professor P.A. Miglus), as well as with the Department of Archeology at the University of Sheffield.

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