LIDAR Terrain Data for Archaeology

posted in: Archaeology, Data, LIDAR, Maps | 0

Light detection and ranging technology (LIDAR) has been in the news recently with lost cities being revealed beneth the Mexican and Guatemala jungles.  In the UK we don’t have jungles but we do have a landscape that in places retains a record of our activity going back thousands of years.  LIDAR can reveal tiny differences in terrain height that sometimes indicate features and patterns that are not directly visible or understandable on the ground. The Environment Agency has put its LIDAR archive online under the Open Government Licence. This data archive is a treasure trove which is revolutionising archaeology in the UK as well as in Central America.

Terra Sulis Research can provide Lidar data processing services to help your community or organisation to better understand its environment.

Pickwick Farm and field system. Hill shaded Environment Agency LIDAR, illuminated from the East.

Part excavated by K Barton in 1958 Pickwick Farm was occupied during the Iron Age and Romano-British periods (300 BC until the 5th century), then from the 12th century until 1840. With its own ancient access road, permanent water source and field system it sits in a commanding position to the east of Maes Knoll Camp above the Chew Valley.

Pickwick Farm, terrain colour coded from red (low) to blue (high), contour heights in metres.

Pickwick Farm is a well known example of a site being occupied for a very extended period of time.  Many more archaeological sites are emerging from the LIDAR and further posts will highlight examples in the Mendip area.

Pickwick Farm LIDAR relief classification.

To commission LIDAR data processing of your study area email

Contains Ordnance Survey and Environment Agency LIDAR data available under the Open Government Licence (OGL) 2017.