Remote Sensing

Cropmarks of square and circular enclosures. Courtesy of Cliche J Dassie. Accessed from Flickr.
ARS Ltd. Aerial Photograph Analyst analysing a black and white aerial photograph through a stereoscope © Copyright ARS Ltd
© Copyright ARS Ltd 2020

Aerial survey is a cost-effective technique that allows for rapid reconnaissance and detection of archaeological sites over large areas of the landscape. It enables the discovery of new sites and evaluation of the archaeological potential of a given area where sites are already known. Aerial survey has been the single-most effective technique for discerning new archaeological sites.

Using information from existing aerial photograph archives, satellite imagery and Lidar, the presence of archaeological sites and features can be identified in advance, resulting in archaeological mitigation strategies that are more informed and targeted, particularly in relation to large-scale development.

  • Highly experienced specialist staff, of whom there are few in the UK, and who are trained and work to Historic England’s Aerial Investigation and Mapping standards
  • Production of GIS-ready data for easy incorporation into client data systems
  • Highly cost-effective technique for surveying large land parcels. We routinely undertake surveys of hundreds of square kilometres
  • Prospective tool that can be undertaken as a desk-based exercise using free or low-cost data already accessible
  • Rapid technique that informs clients, consultants and project managers of potential approaches and risk of a given site at an early stage in pre-application planning

ARS Ltd are at the forefront of utilising remote-sensing technology within the archaeology and heritage sector. Recent projects include our work with the international, multi-University TerrACE research project which has pioneered 3-D modelling and mapping of archaeologically significant landscapes using drones.