Cyrene offers one of the largest and most spectacular necropoleis of the Mediterranean basin and, owing especially to its vastness, it is particularly difficult to control and protect. It reveals an extraordinary patrimony of rock-cut architecture, monumentally built around the ancient site, and also represents a zone at major risk of damage and destruction as a result of continuous looting, uncontrolled urbanisation and vandalism. Recent studies by Jim and Dorothy Thorn have presented a preliminary view and gazetteer of the architectonic monumentality, especially of the rocky chamber tombs, showing the need for survey projects in the area. A joint team of Libyan and Italian archaeologists, geologists, topographers and technicians of the local Department of Antiquities and Chieti University started in 1999 a project of surveying and mapping the southern and eastern parts of the necropolis, giving birth to a GIS using differential GPS and Robotic total station for the positioning and recording of the tombs, as well as multispectral HD satellite images, previously orthorectified and georeferred, combined with old maps and RADAR data for a highly detailed topographic base, up to DEM and DTM. From 2004, the survey and the GIS have been extended to the western and northern parts of the necropolis, at the moment counting more than 2,000 mapped and recorded tombs. An important step in the last two years has been the use of remote-sensing and photo-interpretation analysis in order to map the damages of urbanisation and modern construction in the areas of the necropolis. Using images covering the development of the situation every two to three months, mainly shots coming from Google Earth archives, in combination with further satellite images specifically bought for a more complete view of the last two to three years, it has been possible to start drawing a map of the areas under threat from building works and urbanisation. The aim of this paper is to present the main problems of this huge necropolis, which is at the moment one of the most threatened areas of Cyrene, every day at risk from the destruction of its monumental buildings.

The main Issues of the Cyrene Necropolis and the use of remote sensing for monitoring in the case of the eastern necropolis

Eugenio Di Valerio
;
Oliva Menozzi
;
2016-01-01

Abstract

Cyrene offers one of the largest and most spectacular necropoleis of the Mediterranean basin and, owing especially to its vastness, it is particularly difficult to control and protect. It reveals an extraordinary patrimony of rock-cut architecture, monumentally built around the ancient site, and also represents a zone at major risk of damage and destruction as a result of continuous looting, uncontrolled urbanisation and vandalism. Recent studies by Jim and Dorothy Thorn have presented a preliminary view and gazetteer of the architectonic monumentality, especially of the rocky chamber tombs, showing the need for survey projects in the area. A joint team of Libyan and Italian archaeologists, geologists, topographers and technicians of the local Department of Antiquities and Chieti University started in 1999 a project of surveying and mapping the southern and eastern parts of the necropolis, giving birth to a GIS using differential GPS and Robotic total station for the positioning and recording of the tombs, as well as multispectral HD satellite images, previously orthorectified and georeferred, combined with old maps and RADAR data for a highly detailed topographic base, up to DEM and DTM. From 2004, the survey and the GIS have been extended to the western and northern parts of the necropolis, at the moment counting more than 2,000 mapped and recorded tombs. An important step in the last two years has been the use of remote-sensing and photo-interpretation analysis in order to map the damages of urbanisation and modern construction in the areas of the necropolis. Using images covering the development of the situation every two to three months, mainly shots coming from Google Earth archives, in combination with further satellite images specifically bought for a more complete view of the last two to three years, it has been possible to start drawing a map of the areas under threat from building works and urbanisation. The aim of this paper is to present the main problems of this huge necropolis, which is at the moment one of the most threatened areas of Cyrene, every day at risk from the destruction of its monumental buildings.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11564/686134
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