RAGALIRS - The Raganello catchment: airborne imaging spectroscopy and laser scanning as an aid for archaeological research and site reconstruction

Context and objectives

In 2004 the teams of VITO and KULeuven applied for a hyperspectral and Lidar campaign in Sagalassos, i.e. the Sagalirs (airborne imaging spectroscopy and laser scanning of the antique site of Sagalassos). Because in august 2007 their was still no flight permission from the Turkish army, the team of Remote Sensing and Earth Observation Processes (TAP) from VITO, the team of the Physical and Regional Geography Research group and the Center for Archaeological Sciences, both of the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven cooperated with the Groningen Institute of Archaeology, Groningen University (the Netherlands). As a result the Sagalirs project was turned into the Ragalirs project, which emphasises on the Raganello catchment (Calabria - Italy).
At present the ‘Hidden Landscape Project’ of the Groningen research group is focussing on the methodology of landscape-archaeological research in a Mediterranean environment. As is typical for all such projects, currently most of the information is gathered by continuous intensive and time consuming field survey techniques, while the contribution of remote sensing techniques is limited to the visual interpretation of aerial photographs. Remote sensing techniques, such as imaging spectroscopy and LIDAR with very detailed spatial and spectral resolution, may provide new types of information crucial to accelerating the archaeological research and stimulating interdisciplinarity and international cooperation, and would greatly contribute to the presentation of the ongoing activities and research to the public.

Project outcome

Expected scientific results

Results expected
For this project a limited number of interdisciplinary research topics related to the Raganello catchment are selected for their relevance to a broad public and for which a significant need and demand exists among the scientists:



  • Distribution of sites in the catchment
  • Vegetation mapping
  • Anthropogenisation of soils
  • Distribution of erosion and colluviation zones and field terraces