Archaeological Prospection with CORONA and WV-3 Satellite Imagery of the Archaeological Site of Zar Tepe (Uzbekistan)

Iranzo, C., Uribe, P., Angas, J., Ariño, E., Martínez-Ferreras, V., Gurt, J. M., and Pidaev, S.: ARCHAEOLOGICAL PROSPECTION WITH CORONA AND WV-3 SATELLITE IMAGERY OF THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE OF ZAR TEPE (UZBEKISTAN), Int. Arch. Photogramm. Remote Sens. Spatial Inf. Sci., XLVIII-M-2-2023, 743–749,, 2023.

The use of different data from satellite platforms for archaeological prospecting and remote sensing has been applied since the end of the 20th century. Although the current use of drones with different visible and multispectral sensors for small areas has partially replaced in some cases the use of this type of satellite information due to its higher spatial resolution. The historical importance of satellite imagery is essential to find out about and compare the transformations of the archaeological landscape of the last 60 years since the CORONA satellite program started in 1960. In this paper we propose the evaluation of a proposal for the automation of processes of two photographic reconnaissance correlative satellite programs CORONA (1960-1972), HEXAGON (1971-1986) declassified since 1995 and 2011 respectively, and the commercial satellite WorldView-3 (WV3) (2014) for use in the detection of buried archaeological structures at the archaeological site of Zar Tepe in the southeast of Uzbekistan. This is a site located in the Surkhan Darya region very little known between the first century BC and the fourth century AD. This methodology is part of the IPAEB project (International Pluridisciplinary Archaeological Expedition to Bactria) led by the University of Barcelona, the University of Salamanca and recently in 2019 the University of Zaragoza. IPAEB was started in 2006 in the South of Uzbekistan and is currently trying to explore the urban planning of the Zar Tepe archaeological site and the elements that make up its natural physical environment: evidence of communication routes, smallholdings, irrigation channels, fences and sources of raw materials.