Remote Sensing Based Identification of Painted Rock Shelter Sites: Appraisal Using Advanced Wide Field Sensor, Neural Network and Field Observations

  • Ruman BanerjeeEmail author
  • Prashant K. Srivastava
Part of the Society of Earth Scientists Series book series (SESS)


Recent advances in remote sensing can map the lithological and geological parameters in a synoptic way and hence opens up new dimensions in archaeological research. This work delineates accurate mappings of sandstone located and documented in the form of a suite of prehistoric rock-shelter sites in the Mirzapur district of Central India. Artificial Neural Network (ANN) and Maximum Likelihood Classification (MLC) techniques have been used to identify, classify and map the region under study using IRS-P6 Advanced Wide Field Sensor (AWiFS). Interpretation of data processing revealed that ANN performed better than MLC for mapping sandstone in and around the area of Mirzapur. A conspicuous pattern has been detected where the painted sandstone shelters followed the natural sandstone or host-rock formations revealing the painting activity. This demonstrates prehistoric social choice in terms of the production and consumption of rock art and the importance of local geology that governs this activity.


Remote sensing GIS Sandstone AWiFS ANN MLC Archaeological sites Central India Rock art 



The authors are extremely grateful to the Archaeological Survey of India, Janpath, New Delhi for the permission to commence field-work in the Mirzapur region of Central India. The first author extends his sincere thanks to the local guides and villagers of Mirzapur and Rewa districts for their cordial and unflinching help and hospitality during the field-work, exploring, documenting and cataloguing several new sites in this region of Central India. The first author received University of Bristol Centenary Research Scholarship which supported this research endeavour. The research travel grants provided by the Graduate School of Arts and Humanities, University of Bristol, are highly appreciated.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Archaeology and AnthropologyUniversity of BristolBristolUK
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of BristolBristolUK

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