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Author Topic: AERIAL ARCHAELOGY  (Read 1399 times)
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Posts: 41646

« on: July 10, 2008, 05:05:25 pm »

Aerial Archaeology and Prospection 

Today, it is not only the upstanding remains of our cultural heritage, that is increasingly threatened
with destruction.

There is an even bigger amount of archaeological sites still hidden in the subsoil.

Many of them are in a very bad condition due to intensive agriculture and the exploitation of our resources.

Others are already vanished.

If these were prior unknown - which comes true of a good deal - they are leaving irretreavable holes
in the archaeological landscape. To prevent this, the archaeologist tries to detect, document and map archaeological sites, aiming to protect them or at least to extract from them as much information as possible, before they are destroyed. This is called

                                                 "archaeological prospection".

In the public opinion, archaeology is mostly connected with excavation. As a matter of fact, excavation is performed rather as a final step; it is somehow seen as the last resort to protect our cultural heritage by "destroying" a site scientifically, before it is deserted by bulldozers. Excavation of sites solely because of scientific interest is very rare nowadays. Today, the archaeologist is much more concerned with the non destructive protection of sites, which is - by the way - cheaper. Therefore, a broad range of prospecting techniques have been developed.

Each of these prospection techniques has different aims, methods, advantages and drawbacks. None of them can be seen as the "non plus ultra".

Aerial archaeology is one of the oldest prospection methods. It is very productive and (in relation to other methods) cheap, because you can cover quite a large area within a small number of flighing-hours and you can use any existing aerial photograph for your interpretation. A good example to illustrate this is the vertical aerial photograph of the area around Hornsburg in Lower Austria. 

HORNSBURG, Lower Austria

Here, five archaeological sites can be detected within a single image, that was originally not even made for archaeological reasons.

Flugbildkompanie Langenlebarn
« Last Edit: July 10, 2008, 05:07:27 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.

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