How do we know where to dig?
- desktop survey: the examination of standard archives and published references (such as National Record of the Historic Environment (NRHE), Historic Environment Record (HER), journal articles and site reports, air photographs, historic maps etc.)
- airborne remote sensing: the interpretation and mapping of archaeology visible on aerial photographs and from airborne laser scanning (usually called lidar). This technique brings together information on buried features revealed as cropmarks, soilmarks or parchmarks, and features visible on the surface (such as earthworks and structures).
- analytical earthwork survey: the accurate mapping and analysis of archaeological features visible above ground. This technique is good at providing detailed information on form and condition of earthwork remains, and identifying chronological relationships between features.
- geophysical survey: this can identify buried archaeological remains. A number of techniques can be used (such as magnetometry, resistivity and ground penetrating radar) each measuring different physical properties of the ground, and it is important to choose the right combination of methods for the site being investigated.
- What are the main differences between the various non-intrusive survey techniques?
- What order would you use the different techniques in?
- What landscapes are most appropriate to the different techniques?
- How do these non-intrusive techniques compare to archaeological excavation?
Archaeology: From Dig to Lab and Beyond
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