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The Utility of Publicly-Available Satellite Imagery for Investigating Looting of Archaeological Sites in Jordan

Daniel A. Contreras and Neil Brodie
Journal of Field Archaeology
Vol. 35, No. 1 (March 2010), pp. 101-114
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/24406841
Page Count: 14
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The Utility of Publicly-Available Satellite Imagery for Investigating Looting of Archaeological Sites in Jordan
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Abstract

International response to the problem of looting of archaeological sites has been hampered by the difficulty of quantifying the damage done. The scarcity of reliable information negatively impacts professional and public policy making, rendering consensus about the scale of the problem and the effectiveness of policy responses difficult to achieve. We report here on the use of publicly-available satellite imagery for quantifying the damage caused by looting of archaeological sites in Jordan. The ease of use and affordability of imagery such as that provided by Google Earth make the identification, quantification, and monitoring of archaeological site looting possible at a level previously unimagined. Our findings about looting at archaeological sites in Jordan shed light on the potential for a broader application of the method.

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