Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Aerial scanning reveals details of ancient sites
New technologies seem to make almost everyone's job easier, and archaeology is no exception. One of the newest and most exciting tools in the archaeologist's kit is aerial laser scanning, sometimes referred to as Light Detection And Ranging, or LiDAR. It works a bit like radar, but instead of using radio waves, it uses infrared laser pulses. The echoes can "see" through trees and shrubs, revealing the precise contours of the ground surface.

In the April issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science, University of Vienna archaeologist Michael Doneus and colleagues report the results of a LiDAR survey of the Iron Age hill fort of Purbach in eastern Austria.