Identification of ruins in Kara-khoja site: through the integration and criticism of maps, photographs, and satellite images

This paper discusses a new research method of re-identifying missing ruins in Gaochang (Kara-khoja), which is the most important city of eastern Silk Road area. About 100 years ago, several Silk Road expeditions surveyed this ruined city. The First German Turfan Expediton, Grünwedel made an archaeological survey in this city, and discovered a large amount of artifacts in Buddhism, Manichaean, Christian temples. To describe the location of artifacts, he made a map of Kara-Khoja, but unfortunately his map has been known to be difficult to interpret due to large distortion in his map. To identify ruins recorded by Grünwedel, we developed a new research method called "map criticism," or critique for maps. First, we built digital tools to compare maps. The maps of Grünwedel and Stein were geo-referenced and formatted in KML for basic comparison between old maps and the present map. For maps with large distortion, we designed a new digital tool called “Mappinning” (map + pinning) to geo-reference two maps interactively at any specified point. Second, we proposed a method for the topological interpretation of maps, and demonstrated that this idea was the key to identify ruins in the map of Grünwedel. Then we illustrate how ruins in the ancient city of Kara-khoja can be successfully re-identified, using sketch-plan, old and present photographs and maps. We claim that our new framework can be developed into a common information platform on which various resources such as maps and photographs are integrated to achieve better understanding of ruins.

Citation

Yoko NISHIMURA, Asanobu KITAMOTO, "Identification of ruins in Kara-khoja site: through the integration and criticism of maps, photographs, and satellite images", IPSJ SIG Computers and the Humanities Symposium 2014, pp. 43-50, 2014-12 (in Japanese)

BibTeX Format

@InProceedings{ jm14b,
	author = {Yoko NISHIMURA and Asanobu KITAMOTO},
	title = {Identification of ruins in Kara-khoja site: through the integration and criticism of maps, photographs, and satellite images},
	booktitle = {IPSJ SIG Computers and the Humanities Symposium 2014},
	pages = {43-50},
	year = 2014,
	month = 12,
	note = { (in Japanese)},
}

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