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  • University of Leicester

Endangered Archaeology: Using Remote Sensing to Protect Cultural Heritage

Discover how to use satellite imagery to identify and assess endangered archaeological sites in the Middle East and North Africa.

4,687 enrolled on this course

A black and white aerial photo of a large tell, surrounded by modern agricultural fields and small villages.
  • Duration

    6 weeks
  • Weekly study

    3 hours
  • Digital upgrade


Learn about techniques to identify and monitor heritage sites

The Endangered Archaeology in the Middle East and North Africa (EAMENA) project has developed a methodology for documenting heritage sites and landscapes, using remote sensing as a key technique.

On this course, you’ll learn about the basics of satellite remote sensing and how to use it to identify and monitor threats to heritage sites and landscapes.

Discover how to assess the condition of archaeological sites and damage through Google Earth

You’ll start by learning to interpret satellite imagery before going through a step-by-step guide on how to use Google Earth Pro to find, record, and monitor archaeological sites.

Once you’ve developed your skills, you’ll look at identifying and assessing damage and threats to heritage sites, such as natural erosion or construction, and then recording your findings.

Explore basic mapmaking as a tool to communicate information

To round out your remote sensing toolkit, this course will take you through the archaeology of the landscapes of mud and stone. You’ll use examples to learn what information you can obtain when looking at these landscapes.

Finally, you’ll look at communicating information through a basic map, and techniques you can use when making maps.

Learn from experts in archaeology and remote sensing at the EAMENA Project

EAMENA Project team members have been at the forefront of remote sensing for archaeology since 2015, and Durham University archaeology has been doing this for over two decades. They use satellite imagery to find new sites, monitor site destruction, and organise heritage management across several countries.

Having trained local archaeologists and heritage professionals, the team is uniquely positioned to guide you through using satellite imagery in archaeology.

What topics will you cover?

  1. Using satellite imagery for archaeology
  2. Seeing archaeology
  3. Seeing damage
  4. Landscapes of mud
  5. Landscapes of stone
  6. Communicating information: making maps

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Perform basic remote sensing tasks with free satellite imaging platforms such as Google Earth Pro
  • Identify basic archaeological processes that influence site formation
  • Identify a range of archaeological sites through satellite imagery
  • Assess threats and damages to heritage sites using remote sensing techniques
  • Create maps using Google Earth Pro

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone interested in archaeology and using remote sensing.

It will be particularly useful for heritage professionals working in countries in Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries.

Who will you learn with?

I focus my research on the interactions between the physical and cultural domains of soil science, archaeology and heritage conservation.

I am Assistant Professor (Research) on the EAMENA project at Durham University specialising in the archaeological landscapes of ancient western Asia, and GIS and remote sensing applications.

Postdoctoral Research Associate with the EAMENA project at Durham University

I am an archaeologist who has worked in the Middle East since the late 1970s. I have a particular interest in landscape archaeology, and I am Principal Investigator of the Durham component of EAMENA

I am a landscape archaeologist working in Southwest Asia. I specialise in using computers to understand archaeological datasets, using tools like satellite imagery and geographical information systems

Who developed the course?

Durham University

Durham University is a collegiate university with long traditions and modern values, proud to be an international scholarly community which reflects the ambitions of cultures from around the world.

British Council

The British Council builds connections, understanding and trust between people in the UK and other countries through arts and culture, education and the English language.

We work on the ground in more than 100 countries. In 2019-20 we connected with 80 million people directly and with 791 million people overall, including online and through our broadcasts and publications.

University of Leicester

The University of Leicester is a leading research led university with a strong tradition of excellence in teaching. It is consistently ranked amongst the top 20 universities in the United Kingdom.

University of Oxford

Oxford is the oldest university in the English-speaking world. It has been at the forefront of understanding the world – and shaping it – for centuries.

What's included?

Durham University are offering everyone who joins this course a free digital upgrade, so that you can experience the full benefits of studying online for free. This means that you get:

  • Unlimited access to this course
  • Includes any articles, videos, peer reviews and quizzes
  • A PDF Certificate of Achievement to prove your success when you’re eligible
  • Learning on FutureLearn

    Your learning, your rules

    • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
    • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
    • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

    Join a global classroom

    • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
    • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
    • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

    Map your progress

    • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
    • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
    • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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