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ARSF - Flight GB05/01: Edinburgh and Glasgow areas

Status: Not defined
Publication State: published


ARSF project GB05/01 : The application of airborne remote sensing techniques in archaeology: a comparative study. PI: William Hanson. Sites: Edinburgh, Glasgow.

Abbreviation: ARSF_GB05_01
Keywords: Not defined


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More Information (under review)

Aerial photography has made the single most important contribution to our improved appreciation of the density, diversity and distribution of archaeological sites since WWII. This is particularly the case for areas of intensive lowland agriculture where ploughed-out sites are known only from marks in crops growing above them. However, reconnaissance for such cropmarks is not equally effective throughout the lowlands because of the particular conditions of drier weather, well-drained soils and arable agriculture required before they become visible. There is, therefore, considerable bias in the discovery and, consequently, known distribution of archaeological sites in favour of the drier eastern side of Scotland with its higher percentage of arable agriculture, as opposed to the west with its wetter climate and greater proportion of grazing land. Given that the appearance of cropmarks is linked to moisture stress in growing plants, they are potentially detectable at bandwidths outside the visible and before they become apparent therein. Using carefully selected case study sites in Lowland Scotland, one in the east and one in the west for the purposes of comparison, this project seeks to examine the extent to which multispectral and hyperspectral imagery can reveal otherwise invisible archaeological sites, particularly in pasture land.

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