Using Satellite Images to Identify a Possible Medieval Road in the Vinga High Plains (Banat, România)

International Aerial Archaeology Conference – AARG 2010, Bucharest, Romania, 15 – 18 September 2010

Dorel Micle, Leonard Dorogostaisky, Liviu Măruia, Marcel Torok, Adrian Cîntar, and Lavinia Bolcu

“Our study started with an analyze of satellite images provided by Google Earth on a South – North sector between Beregsău Brook (Nerad, Bega Veche) which flows North of Timişoara and Mureş River as we noticed the trajectory of a possible earth road, not yet archaeologically investigated, and also the presence of two square brick fortifications, quite similar in shape and defensive system, which chronologically fit between the XVIth and the XVIIth century (based on the ceramic materials gathered). One of the fortifications was identified West of the present day village Frumuşeni, Arad County, on the South shore of Mureş River, and the second one is East of present day locality Sânandrei, Timiş County, on the North shore of Nerad Brook.

“Our team’s goal was to certify the presence of this medieval road by studying the available documentary material (written medieval sources, military topographical maps, orthophotograms and satellite images, old historic maps, etc.) but also by field probation through systematic surveys and punctual geophysical prospections, as we tried to identify the route and structure of this road.

“Placed in a larger landscape archaeology research, this study can bring multiple information related to economical, political and military context in which the medieval road functioned, and also the possible connection between the two fortifications mentioned above. Also, a medieval rural habitat sectioned by the trajectory of this road analysis can bring out characteristic elements of a stabile and controlled transportation route (post stations, etc.) which can improve historical data related to this period.

“Our procedure is a technical one, which is based on new documentation means and methods that contribute to the improving of knowledge related to a less studied period – the one regarding the Turkish occupation of the Banat region – through highlighting elements of military architecture (fortifications) and infrastructure (roads).”

(via @AntArch)

GIS-based Mapping and Statistical Analysis of Air Pollution and Mortality in Brisbane, Australia

Masters Thesis, Queensland University of Technology, April 2010

Khaled Al Koas

“In this thesis, the relationship between air pollution and human health has been investigated utilising Geographic Information System (GIS) as an analysis tool. The research focused on how vehicular air pollution affects human health. The main objective of this study was to analyse the spatial variability of pollutants, taking Brisbane City in Australia as a case study, by the identification of the areas of high concentration of air pollutants and their relationship with the numbers of death caused by air pollutants. A correlation test was performed to establish the relationship between air pollution, number of deaths from respiratory disease, and total distance travelled by road vehicles in Brisbane. GIS was utilized to investigate the spatial distribution of the air pollutants. The main finding of this research is the comparison between spatial and non-spatial analysis approaches, which indicated that correlation analysis and simple buffer analysis of GIS using the average levels of air pollutants from a single monitoring station or by group of few monitoring stations is a relatively simple method for assessing the health effects of air pollution. There was a significant positive correlation between variable under consideration, and the research shows a decreasing trend of concentration of nitrogen dioxide at the Eagle Farm and Springwood sites and an increasing trend at CBD site. Statistical analysis shows that there exists a positive relationship between the level of emission and number of deaths, though the impact is not uniform as certain sections of the population are more vulnerable to exposure. Further statistical tests found that the elderly people of over 75 years age and children between 0-15 years of age are the more vulnerable people exposed to air pollution. A non-spatial approach alone may be insufficient for an appropriate evaluation of the impact of air pollutant variables and their inter-relationships. It is important to evaluate the spatial features of air pollutants before modeling the air pollution-health relationships.”