Silvretta Historica - Kulturgeschichte grenzenlos erforschen und erleben

Institutions
  • Zukunftskolleg
  • FB Informatik und Informationswissenschaft
  • FB Geschichte,Soziologie,Sportw. u. emp. Bildungsf.
Publications
  Kothieringer, Katja; Walser, Christoph; Dietre, Benjamin; Reitmaier, Thomas; Haas, Jean Nicolas; Lambers, Karsten(2015): High impact : early pastoralism and environmental change during the Neolithic and Bronze Age in the Silvretta Alps (Switzerland/Austria) as evidenced by archaeological, palaeoecological and pedological proxies Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie, Supplementary Issues ; 59 (2015), 2. - S. 177-198. - ISSN 1864-1687. - eISSN 0372-8854

High impact : early pastoralism and environmental change during the Neolithic and Bronze Age in the Silvretta Alps (Switzerland/Austria) as evidenced by archaeological, palaeoecological and pedological proxies

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The beginnings of the continuous human presence and of pastoral activities in the high mountainous region of Central Europe have recently become a frequently discussed topic in both archaeology and palaeoecology. In extreme environments such as the high Alpine main ridge and adjacent areas, highly adaptive subsistence strategies were required to exploit natural resources available in the subalpine and alpine zones. Such strategies were determined by changing environmental, social, and economic conditions. To investigate the relationships between settlement dynamics, human impact, and Holocene climatic changes, we studied the valleys of the Silvretta Massif in the central Eastern Alps between the Paznaun (Austria) and Lower Engadine valleys (Switzerland). We are presenting new archaeological, palaeoecological, and pedological evidence of continuous human activities from the Early Neolithic Period to the Bronze Age (~ 5,500–800 BC). This evidence sheds new light on the beginnings of intensified human impact on the high mountainous landscape, i.e. activities beyond Mesolithic hunting along the timberline. Archaeological data suggest a shift in subsistence strategies from hunting to herding at the end of the Neolithic Period (~ 2,800–2,500 BC). While palaeoecological data confirm this trend, they also indicate potentially earlier human and livestock impact through forest clearances by fi re and grazing from about 4,200 BC onwards. In addition to archaeological sites and peat bogs, soils in high-altitude regions prove to be appropriate archives indicating former vegetation cover, shifts of timberline altitudes as well as disturbance of soil formation by human activity such as by slash-and-burn and by livestock grazing.

Origin (projects)

  Zingman, Igor; Saupe, Dietmar; Lambers, Karsten(2015): Detection of incomplete rectangular contours with application in archaeology
 01.01.00Zingman, Igor; Saupe, Dietmar; Penatti, Otavio; Lambers, Karsten(2015): Detection of Fragmented Rectangular Enclosures in Very-High-Resolution Remote Sensing Images

Detection of Fragmented Rectangular Enclosures in Very-High-Resolution Remote Sensing Images

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We develop an approach for detection of ruins of livestock enclosures in alpine areas captured by high-resolution remotely sensed images. These structures are usually of approximately rectangular shape and appear in images as faint fragmented contours in complex background. We address this problem by introducing a rectangularity feature that quantifies the degree of alignment of an optimal subset of extracted linear segments with a contour of rectangular shape. The rectangularity feature has high values not only for perfectly regular enclosures, but also for ruined ones with distorted angles, fragmented walls, or even a completely missing wall. Furthermore, it has zero value for spurious structures with less than three sides of a perceivable rectangle.<br />We show how the detection performance can be improved by learning a linear combination of the rectangularity and size features from just a few available representative examples and a large number of negatives. Our approach allowed detection of enclosures in the Silvretta Alps that were previously unknown.<br />A comparative performance analysis is provided. Among other features, our comparison includes the state-of-the-art features that were generated by pre-trained deep convolutional neural networks (CNN). The deep CNN features, though learned from a very different type of images, provided the basic ability to capture the visual concept of the livestock enclosures. However, our handcrafted rectangularity-size features showed considerably higher performance.

Origin (projects)

    Zingman, Igor; Saupe, Dietmar; Lambers, Karsten(2014): A morphological approach for distinguishing texture and individual features in images Pattern Recognition Letters ; 47 (2014). - S. 129-138. - ISSN 0167-8655. - eISSN 1872-7344

A morphological approach for distinguishing texture and individual features in images

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We present a morphological texture contrast (MTC) operator that allows detection of textural and nontexture regions in images. We show that in contrast to other approaches, the MTC discriminates between texture details and isolated features and does not extend borders of texture regions. A comparison with other methods used for texture detection is provided. Using the ideas underlying the MTC operator, we develop a complementary operator called morphological feature contrast (MFC) that allows extraction of isolated features while not being confused by texture details. We illustrate an application of the MFC operator to extraction of isolated objects such as individual trees or buildings that should be distinguished from forests or urban centers. We also propose an MFC based detector of isolated linear features and compare it with an alternative approach used for detection of edges and lines in cluttered scenes. We furthermore derive an extended version of the MFC that can be directly applied to vector-valued images.

Origin (projects)

    Dietre, Benjamin; Walser, Christoph; Lambers, Karsten; Reitmaier, Thomas; Hajdas, Irka; Haas, Jean Nicolas(2014): Palaeoecological evidence for Mesolithic to Medieval climatic change and anthropogenic impact on the Alpine flora and vegetation of the Silvretta Massif (Switzerland/Austria) Quaternary International ; 353 (2014). - S. 3-16. - ISSN 1040-6182. - eISSN 1873-4553

Palaeoecological evidence for Mesolithic to Medieval climatic change and anthropogenic impact on the Alpine flora and vegetation of the Silvretta Massif (Switzerland/Austria)

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In a high altitude region such as the Silvretta Alps (Switzerland/Austria), past and extant settlement activities are known to have had large influences on the alpine flora and vegetation. The Silvretta Massif harbors more than 230 archaeological sites above 2000 m a.s.l. on a total area of 550 km2, from the Mesolithic period to Modern Times, but received little attention in these matters up to recently. The Fimba Valley within the Silvretta area e with 47 known archaeological sites (6 prehistoric, 21 from the Medieval and/or Modern Times, 20 undated) located over an area of 62 km2 - provides evidence of a broad range of former human presence, as well as peat records allowing the reconstruction of Holocene climatic change and anthropogenic impact on past vegetation. Here, we present a high resolution, multiproxy study (including pollen, cryptogam spores, and non-pollen palynomorphs) on a 177-cm-long radiocarbon dated peat core from the Las Gondas Bog in the Fimba Valley (2363 m a.s.l.). Palynological evidence adds and confirms previous dendrochronological results, revealing extensive high Pinus cembra (Arolla pine) stands around the bog at 10,400 cal BP and between ca. 8600e6700 cal. BP, more than 300 altitudinal meters above today’s timberline, and belonging therefore to the highest population known for Central Europe. In addition, our palaeoecological results correlate well with the archaeologically known human impact during the Neolithic, Iron Age and Medieval periods. The exploitation of alpine landscape resources (cultivation of cereals in the valleys) and livestock grazing (in the subalpine and alpine areas) has therefore a long tradition going back at least for 6200 years in the Silvretta region.

Origin (projects)

    Zingman, Igor; Saupe, Dietmar; Lambers, Karsten(2013): Automated search for livestock enclosures of rectangular shape in remotely sensed imagery Image and Signal Processing for Remote Sensing XIX / Bruzzone, Lorenzo (Hrsg.). - SPIE, 2013. - (SPIE Proceedings ; 8892). - 88920F

Automated search for livestock enclosures of rectangular shape in remotely sensed imagery

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We introduce an approach for the detection of approximately rectangular structures in gray scale images. Our research is motivated by the Silvretta Historica project that aims at automated detection of remains of livestock enclosures in remotely sensed images of alpine regions. The approach allows detection of enclosures with linear sides of various sizes and proportions. It is robust to incomplete or fragmented rectangles and tolerates deviations from a perfect rectangular shape. Morphological operators are used to extract linear features. They are grouped into parameterized linear segments by means of a local Hough transform. To identify appropriate configurations of linear segments we define convexity and angle constraints. Configurations meeting these constraints are rated by a proposed rectangularity measure that discards overly fragmented configurations and configurations with more than one side completely missing. The search for appropriate configurations is efficiently performed on a graph. Its nodes represent linear segments and edges encode the above constraints. We tested our approach on a set of aerial and GeoEye-1 satellite images of 0.5m resolution that contain ruined livestock enclosures of approximately rectangular shape. The approach showed encouraging results in finding configurations of linear segments originating from the objects of our interest.

Origin (projects)

Reitmaier, Thomas; Lambers, Karsten; Walser, Christoph; Zingman, Igor; Haas, Jean Nicolas; Dietre, Benjamin; Reidl, Daniel; Hajdas, Irka; Nicolussi, Kurt; Kathrein, Yvonne; Naef, Leandra; Kaiser, Thomas(2013): Alpine Archäologie in der Silvretta Archäologie Schweiz ; 36 (2013), 1. - S. 4-15. - ISSN 0255-9005

Alpine Archäologie in der Silvretta

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Seit 2007 untersucht ein internationales Forschungsprojekt in der Silvretta zwischen der Schweiz und Österreich die Spuren der ersten Hirten. Dabei wird immer mehr die hohe Anzahl und Qualität alpiner Denkmäler aus mittlerweile 11 Jahrtausenden deutlich - von Lagern steinzeitlicher Jagdgruppen bis zur derzeit ältesten Alphütte der Schweiz.

Origin (projects)

  Lambers, Karsten; Zingman, Igor(2013): Texture segmentation as a first step towards archaeological object detection in high-resolution satellite images of the Silvretta Alps Archaeological prospection : proceedings of the 10 th International Conference on Archaeological Prospection ; Vienna, May 29 th - June 2 nd 2013 / Neubauer, Wolfgang et al. (Hrsg.). - Wien : Verlag der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, 2013. - S. 327-329. - ISBN 978-3-7001-7459-2

Texture segmentation as a first step towards archaeological object detection in high-resolution satellite images of the Silvretta Alps

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Since 2007, the Silvretta Archaeological Project in the high Alps on the Swiss-Austrian border has been investigating the prehistoric origins of alpine pasture economy. In an area of about 540 km2 more than 20 well-preserved archaeological sites associated with alpine pastoralism have been recorded, the earliest of them dating to the Iron Age (Reitmaier (ed.), 2012; Walser and Lambers, 2012). All of the ruined huts, cellars and livestock enclosures at these sites are visible on the surface and show a limited range of shapes and proportions. According to their function, all of them are located in open grassland. Based on this sample, we are currently developing methods to detect archaeological objects of the kind described above in high-resolution satellite images of our study area (Lambers and Zingman, in press). These methods are intended to assist archaeological survey in vast and/or difficult to access areas by screening large amounts of remotely sensed images in order to detect possible archaeological sites prior to fieldwork (Cowley, 2012). Our general approach aims at assessing the probability of the presence of objects of our interest based on geometric cues that can be automatically detected in the satellite and aerial images that we use. We here describe our general methodology and the first integral step constituting a new approach to texture segmentation.

Origin (projects)

    Zingman, Igor; Saupe, Dietmar; Lambers, Karsten(2013): Detection of texture and isolated features using alternating morphological filters Mathematical Morphology and Its Applications to Signal and Image Processing / Hendriks, Cris L. Luengo; Borgefors, Gunilla; Strand, Robin (Hrsg.). - Berlin, Heidelberg : Springer Berlin Heidelberg, 2013. - (Lecture Notes in Computer Science ; 7883). - S. 440-451. - ISBN 978-3-642-38293-2

Detection of texture and isolated features using alternating morphological filters

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Recently, we introduced a morphological texture contrast (MTC) operator that allows detection of textural and non-texture regions in images. In this paper we provide comparison of the MTC with other available techniques. We show that, in contrast to other approaches, the MTC discriminates between texture details and isolated features, and does not extend borders of texture regions. Using the ideas underlying the MTC operator, we develop a complementary operator called morphological feature contrast (MFC) that allows extraction of isolated Features while not being confused by texture details. We illustrate an application of the MFC operator for extraction of isolated objects such as individual trees or buildings that should be distinguished from forests or urban centers. We furthermore provide an example of how this operator can be used for detection of isolated linear structures. We also derive an extended version of the MFC that works with vector-valued images.

Origin (projects)

    Lambers, Karsten; Zingman, Igor(2013): Towards detection of archaeological objects in high-resolution remotely sensed images : the Silvretta case study Archaeology in the Digital Era, II : e-Papers from the 40th Conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology, Southampton, 26-30 March 2012 / Graeme Earl, ... (Hrsg.). - Amsterdam : Amsterdam University Press, 2013. - S. 781-791. - ISBN 978-90-485-2728-1

Towards detection of archaeological objects in high-resolution remotely sensed images : the Silvretta case study

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We report on recent research undertaken in the framework of the Silvretta Archaeological Project, in which we are developing methods to detect certain types of archaeological ruins in remotely sensed images in order to assist archaeological survey. Our approach aims at assessing the probability of the presence of objects of our interest based on geometric cues that can be automatically detected in the satellite and aerial images that we use. We describe our methodology and the first integral step, constituting a new approach to texture segmentation that we developed to reduce the rate of false detections.

Origin (projects)

Walser, Christoph; Reitmaier, Thomas; Lambers, Karsten(2013): "Von der Wissenschaft zur Gastwirtschaft" : Silvretta Historica Tagung 2012 Jahresbericht 2012 / Museen, Montafoner; Montafon, Heimatschutzvereins; Archiv, Montafon (Hrsg.). - Schruns : Montafoner Museen, 2013. - S. 32-34. - ISBN 978-3-902225-52-8

"Von der Wissenschaft zur Gastwirtschaft" : Silvretta Historica Tagung 2012

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Walser, Christoph; Reitmaier, Thomas; Lambers, Karsten

Origin (projects)

Lambers, Karsten; Reitmaier, Thomas(2013): Silvretta Historica : Satellite-assisted Archaeological Survey in an Alpine Environment CAA2 010 Fusion of cultures : Proceedings of the 38 th annual conference on Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology, Granada, Spain, April 2010 / Contreras, F. et al. (Hrsg.). - Oxford : Archaeopress, 2013. - (BAR / International series ; 2494). - S. 543-546. - ISBN 978-1-4073-1108-1

Silvretta Historica : Satellite-assisted Archaeological Survey in an Alpine Environment

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In this paper we report on a new archaeological project in the central Alps, titled Silvretta Historica, in which satellite-assisted archaeological surveying is intended to play a key role. Following an overview of the Silvretta study area on the Swiss-Austrian border and its archaeology, we present the first results of recent archaeological fieldwork focussing on the remains of prehistoric alpine pasture economy or Alpwirtschaft. We then continue to discuss why spectral and geometric analysis of high-resolution satellite images are considered a promising method to assist archaeological survey in a high alpine environment.

Origin (projects)

    Zingman, Igor; Saupe, Dietmar; Lambers, Karsten(2012): Morphological operators for segmentation of high contrast textured regions in remotely sensed imagery 2012 IEEE International Geoscience and Remote Sensing Symposium. - IEEE, 2012. - S. 3451-3454. - ISBN 978-1-4673-1160-1

Morphological operators for segmentation of high contrast textured regions in remotely sensed imagery

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We develop a transformation based on morphological filters that measures the contrast of image texture. This transformation is proportional to texture contrast, but insensitive to its specific type. Though the transformation provides a high response in textured areas, it suppresses individual high contrast features that stand apart from textured areas. It can serve as an effective texture descriptor for unsupervised or supervised segmentation of textured regions, provides high accuracy of localization and does not involve heavy computations. The method is robust to variations of illumination and works on different types of images without needing to be tuned. The only parameter is a scale related parameter. We illustrate the use of the proposed method on satellite and aerial images.

Origin (projects)

Funding sources
NameProject no.DescriptionPeriod
Sonstige633/10Interreg Projekt Nr. 19501.01.2011 – 31.12.2013
Exzellenzinitiative633/103. Fö. Zukunftskolleg01.01.2011 – 31.10.2012
Further information
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