William Deadman

William Deadman

Postdoctoral Research Associate with the EAMENA project at Durham University

Location Durham, UK


  • Hi everyone, unfortunately the website where you download the Sentinel-2 imagery has moved - this means that the link and these instructions are now a little out of date. The correct website is https://dataspace.copernicus.eu/browser/, we will work to update these instructions as soon as possible. The interfaces are very similar though, so hopefully these old...

  • It is possible to examine shallow underwater features/sea floor using the 'blue edge/coastal/ultra blue' band which is available in Landsat 8&9 and Sentinel-2 as band 1.

  • Yes this can happen with some images, there is a way to access them but it takes longer - you can read about it here https://scihub.copernicus.eu/userguide/.

  • Thank you! We have corrected this.

  • The course will remain open - you should be able to look back at it as often as you wish.

  • Sorry to hear that. It might be worth trying another browser already installed on your computer, or to allow all pop ups while doing this excercise (just remember to turn this off afterwards!).

  • @SusanO'Connor That you are not paying by the megabyte! This is more common using mobile internet, if - for instance - you use your internet to stream video then you should be okay.

  • A relatively small area! Also sadly the vast majority of the data that has been collected is not publicly available.

  • It would depend on the nature of the archaeology and the radar! Longer wavelengths of SAR can penetrate vegetation (and even some soil!) but at a low resolution so the archaeological features would need to be very substantial. Sentinel-1 (which is discussed in Week 4) uses shorter wavelengths and so could be used to detect large remains above the surface, but...

  • All of these tasks could be carried out with other GIS software too, but the instructions are for QGIS throughout. If you are confident using another GIS application, then please feel free to do so.

  • GIS is sort of like a geographical database and interactive map all in one! This link explains the concept in more detail https://docs.qgis.org/3.28/en/docs/gentle_gis_introduction/index.html. All the software used in this course, including QGIS, is freely available.

  • That sort of thing is possible, but with geophysical remote sensing rather than satellite remote sensing! This course only covers satellite remote sensing, but there is a lot of great resources out there on geophysics in archaeology e.g. https://www.mola.org.uk/blog/what-earth-geophysics.

  • That's right - they are tells (ancient settlement mounds) that are flooded by a reservoir, the water level of which changes seasonally.

  • Good question. It depends on the extent of the dumping! If the area is completely covered by new material then it would be a struggle to see it. In some cases, with some types of sites, it is also possible to mistake such dumping as archaeology! This is why interpreting satellite imagery takes lots of practice.

  • Great question! In fact, just like excavation, restoration is also a type of disturbance. If done badly it can have a terrible impact on a site - the Palace of Knossos is a famous example.

  • Hi Myat, this is a great question - in reality, very accurate interpretation of satellite imagery requires a thorough knowledge of the archaeology at the ground level first. Some pointers can be helpful in assessing how modern a feature is though - especially assessing its relationship to other clearly modern features (like roads), as well as how 'sharp' the...

  • Hi Elizabeth, I'm afraid to get the most out of this course you will need a laptop or other computer, but feel free to follow along with what you can without one, hopefully you will still learn a lot!

  • Hi Sue, this format of latitude and longitude is called "degrees minutes seconds" - there are sixty minutes in a degree, and sixty seconds in a minute! The decimal point at the end belongs to the second number. so the little circle is for degrees, the ' symbol is for minutes and the " is for seconds. One second is approximately 25m, depending on where on Earth...

  • Hi Danielle and Sue, the numbers will be slightly different as it depends exactly where you place your mouse cursor. One 'second' (the last of the three numbers) equates to around 25m - the Great Pyramid is obviously much bigger than this!

  • If you right-click a placemark you can access a menu that includes a delete option. You can also drag placemarks into the right folder (or out of the wrong one) in the My Places window.

  • Hi Sandie, yes sadly huge areas of some sites have been looted, the scale of the damage can be astonishing.

  • This depends on the computer you are using, often it will be by tapping the trackpad with two fingers, or a single long press.

  • Hi Kathy, you can try looking at earlier images using the Time Slider, but there is always going to be a limit to the resolution of the imagery sadly!

  • Sorry to hear about your compatibility issues, unfortunately Google Earth Pro is required to get the most out of the course. If you wish to carry on without it then please do, hopefully you will still learn a lot without the practical components.

  • Hi Sue, I know from my own experience that it is definitely more difficult with a trackpad! You can use the arrows on your keyboard to move around too which may help, the Help menu should also tell you about other useful keyboard shortcuts.

  • Hi Kehinde, you are of course welcome to 'read along' with the course, but to get the most out of the practical components, you will need Google Earth Pro which only runs on laptop/PC/mac.

  • Hi Nicholas, the date is given at the bottom of the image (if you zoom in far enough) but sadly not the time!

  • Sorry to hear that Kathy. This may be a problem specifically with your computer, but did you click the Add Polygon or Add Path buttons before trying to draw them? You can also try Add > Polygon (or Path) from the main menu.

  • Hi Virva, when drawing a polygon or line in Google Earth Pro, you can use the backspace key to undo placing the last vertex, I hope this helps!

  • Thanks Virva, if you follow the EAMENA project on social media, you will know when we launch it!

  • Hi Sandie, with enough irrigation you can grow most things! In Libya they grow a wide range of crops including vegetables and cereals, as well as olives and dates. Qanat/foggara/falaj technology is used all over the Middle East, in some cases they continue to be used, but elsewhere they have been replaced with more modern irrigation methods.

  • Hi Kieron, if you are interested, you can find out more about Anjar on the UNESCO World Heritage Site website https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/293/.

  • Hi Elma, that would definitely count as a disturbance, even though it is trying to achieve something positive!

  • Sorry to hear that! Unfortunately, once you delete a placemark in Google Earth Pro there is no way to restore it, unless you have not made a backup. You could have a good look through all the folders in My Places just in case you moved them rather than deleting them, but otherwise I am sorry to give you such bad news!

  • Hi Mandana, basically for figure 10 there is a colour difference between the dark soil on top of the tell, and the lighter soil visible in the eroded channels and in the surrounding area. Those spots on figure 12 seem to be result of agriculture, perhaps small indentations made by the tyres of the tractor or plough!

  • Hi Charmi, yes to get the most out of the course you will need a laptop. It does not need to be very fast - anything that can run Google Earth Pro will be fine.

  • That's great!