Satellite images provide substantial amounts of data that can be subjected to geomatics analysis. The resulting spatial data are used to identify and explain regional differences. In parallel, an zooarchaeological inventory and environmental characterization are in progress. The fundamental issues, however, cannot be resolved without field investigations. This aspect of the research combines surface surveys and excavations, with special attention to architecture and absolute and relative dating. This approach enables the understanding of the kite phenomenon on a global, regional and local scale.

The scientific disciplines involved in the project. The three main questions are raised in a crossed way
Simultaneously, 5 tasks are implemented:

  1. The measure and the observation of high-resolution satellite images lead to the recording of about twenty descriptors by kite for a sample representing the whole area distribution.

 The statistical analysis and the mapping of these descriptors, their crossing with environmental and zoological data allow to identify the regional peculiarities, which have to give functional or chronological explanations.

  2. The selection of regional windows in which all the kites are described, as well as is recorded the archaeological, topographic and environmental information, allow to study the characters of kites belonging to the concerned zone : geographical distribution, insertion in the landscape, architecture, relations with archaeological sites known.

This work has to allow to approach the question of the functioning of kites as well as the role of kites in the territory. Among these windows, campaigns of fieldwork allow to lead the following investigations:

  1. mapping on the field some selected kites, chosen for their representativeness…

… and realizing aerial photography with a kite. The photo obtained can be used to produce orthophotography and Digital Elevation Models, which give high-resolution data on local relief and structures’ architecture.

  1. Studying the morphology, the architecture, and the potential superimpositions with other structures of the selected kites
  1. Excavating test trenches  in the selected kites, where the potentiality for obtaining chronological evidence is the highest.

During the fieldwork, according to the geological contexts, all available methods of dating may be used : archaeological artefacts, measure of the residual radiocarbon (14C), dating by luminescence (OSL and IRSL), estimations made upon the frequency of siliceous algae found in the stratigraphy and in some particular contexts, U/Th.
All the observations and measurements made during the fieldwork enhance the satellite imagery interpretations and allow their validation. Moreover, they secure the data comparability from a region to another.