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Satellite-Based Monitoring of Looting and Damage to Archaeological Sites in Syria

Jesse Casana and Mitra Panahipour
Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology & Heritage Studies
Vol. 2, No. 2 (2014), pp. 128-151
DOI: 10.5325/jeasmedarcherstu.2.2.0128
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5325/jeasmedarcherstu.2.2.0128
Page Count: 24
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Satellite-Based Monitoring of Looting and Damage to Archaeological Sites in Syria
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Abstract

This article presents analysis of recent, high-resolution satellite imagery to document looting and damage to archaeological sites in Syria that have taken place as a consequence of the ongoing civil war. The effort relies on 2012 and 2013 GeoEye and WorldView imagery covering 30 key sites, alongside freely available imagery served on Google Earth and Bing Maps. Results reveal widespread damage to archaeological sites across the country, caused both by looting and military activities. Ongoing satellite-based monitoring provides a powerful method to document looting and destruction, and will ultimately prove helpful in structuring post-war damage assessment and reconstruction in Syria.

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