Truckle Hill LiDAR data

LiDAR

LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) data have proved effective for the location of subtle earthworks associated with archaeological features. Our analysis, using digital surface modelling, can help to identify archaeological landscapes virtually invisible on the ground.

Datasets for the UK are available from the Environment Agency and have proved exceptionally useful for archaeological assessment and prospection. Archaeological Surveys process raw data and can provide interpretation plots, contours and digital terrain models.

'Bare earth' models have produced exceptional results for wooded landscapes. Subtle earthworks are often visible in the data where no other form of survey could produce effective results. LiDAR was used to compliment a recent geophysical survey of a Roman villa in the Cotswolds and revealed a previously unknown Roman road running for 800m through deciduous woodland.

Combining LiDAR data and magnetometry results also proved effective on a Roman town adjacent to a flood plain. Where long linear magnetic anomalies of uncertain origin were shown to correlate with surface depressions, it was possible to state that they were unlikley to be Roman in origin as much of the archaeology was buried below alluvial deposits.

LiDAR can provide a stand alone solution to archaeological assessment and prospection where earthworks are expected or can be used in conjunction with geophysical survey or analysis of aerial photography.

LiDAR data analysis can prove highly cost effective in removing or reducing the need for ground-truthing where earthwork complexes are surveyed using magnetometry. It can be difficult to separate positive magnetic anomalies relating to former ditches from those caused by magetically enhanced soil within earth banks. Combining the magnetic data with LiDAR can help to confirm the nature of features located and indicate whether they are still extant.