Geomorphological research, GIS & remote sensing

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The geomorphological, remote sensing and GIS research performed at Sagalassos by the Physical and Regional Geography Research Group and the Centre for Archaeological Sciences both of the K.U.Leuven focuses on the past environmental changes that have occurred since human occupation, the evolution of the location of settlements and the detection of archaeological features.

Much attention is being paid to the spatial variability and the interaction between the different processes that are active in terrestrial ecosystems and the location of settlements, and this at different spatial scales. A thorough understanding of the long-term landscape and settlement dynamics should give us a better understanding of the respective role that humans and climate exert on the landscape. The detection of archaeological features using remote sensing, further, increases the knowledge on archaeological sites, in general, in the territory of Sagalassos.

Information on the palaeo-envinronment is collected through field observations, corings (including sedimentological, geochemical analyses and datings) and GPS measurements. This information is supplemented by remote sensing (the interpretation of satellite imagery) and GIS (Geographic Information System) analyses, using both visual and automatic interpretation techniques, in order to link the ancient and present-day landscape characteristics.

A presentation on remote sensing techniques in geo-archaeological research with case studies in Turkey, Egypt and Italy can be downloaded here:



Remote sensing techniques in
geo-archaeological research
(6 MB)

Researchers involved

Gert Verstraeten studied Geography at the K.U.Leuven and made his Msc-thesis on the geomorphology of the broader area around the site of Sagalassos, mainly focusing on the occurence of large landslides. He obtained his doctoral degree in 2000 on contemporary geomorphic processes in the Belgian Loess Belt. Since 2004 he is lecturer at the K.U.Leuven, where he teaches Physical Geography, Topography and Cartography, Late Quaternary Environmental Change, Scientific Methods in Archaeology, and Tectonics and Geomorphology. His research interests are the quantification of historic sediment dynamics and the modelling of past environmental changes. Since 2006 he participates in the Sagalasoss Project and so far, most of his research in Sagalassos focuses on the long-term sediment dynamics of the Büğdüz catchment in the western part of the territory of Sagalassos.

Etienne Paulissen is an ordinary professor of geomorphology at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven specializing in the evolution of physical environment on different time scales. He has participated in the Sagalassos Project since 1991 and focuses on the colluviation/alluviation history, the significance of catastrophic and abrupt climatic events, and the human impact for the last 7,000 years.

Véronique De Laet studied physical geography at the K.U.Leuven and made here Msc-thesis on the geomorphology of the broader area around the site of Sagalassos using GIS techniques. She obtained a Ph. D. in 2007 on the evolution of the geo-archaeological landscape at Sagalassos: integration of geomorphic, GIS and remote sensing methods. Since April 2007, she is researcher at the Centre for Archaeological Sciences and her main focus is on the application of GIS and remote sensing techniques to geo-archaeology.

Bert Dusar studied Physical Geography at the K.U.Leuven and is making a doctoral study on the late-Holocene sediment dynamics of the Büğdüz catchment.

Koen D’Haen studied Geology at the K.U.Leuven and is making a doctoral study on the provenance of sediments within the valley of the Büğdüz catchment.