Geoarchaeological Characterisation of Sites of Iberian and Roman Cordoba Using LiDAR Data Acquisitions
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The National Geographic Institute of Spain (IGN) carried out a Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) flight for the entire region of Andalusia between 2013 and 2014, which completed the general LiDAR acquisitions obtained for all of Spain since 2010. Recently, successive updates of orthoimages of Spain and Andalusia have also been acquired. This geographic documentation allows several applications for the aerial detection of archaeological sites. In recent years, numerous discoveries have been made in Spain, especially in non-built-up areas located outside urban enclaves. Less attention, however, has been paid to the use of this geographical information in historic cities because, apparently, they do not preserve their historical micro relief. This study analyses the city of Cordoba (southern Spain) by processing LiDAR data of the Plan Nacional de Ortofotografía Aérea (PNOA-LiDAR). Digital Surface Models (DSM) obtained for the entire city, in combination with geological and archaeological records, provide evidence of the geomorphological reconstruction of the city in ancient times. Using Cordoba as an example, the main purpose of this article is to highlight the fact that LiDAR data are also useful for the diachronic analysis of ancient urban structures buried some metres deep in current historic cities.