Aerial photography and aerial reconnaissance are tools with many applications in archaeology in searching for and documenting new evidence, graphic restitution and the presentation and conservation of sites.
The use of aerial photography is thus not limited to the identification and discovery of new archaeological sites, but is a practice which over the years has acquired increasing importance in archaeology, and now plays a fundamental role in all phases of research, from interpretation to documentation and visualization.
The last few years have seen significant development in the use of aerial reconnaissance and aerial photography in studies of ancient topography, with archaeologists acquiring their own oblique images, which, together with new remote sensing systems and technologies, represent the greatest advance in the sector: reference can be made here to geographic information systems (GIS), 3D digital elevation models (DEM), structure-from motion techniques (SfM), infrared (false colour and thermal) photographic images, multispectral and hyperspectral scanning sensors, radar and LiDAR systems and the continuous evolution of the use of satellite images.
ICACH’s capacity in the application of aerial photography and reconnaissance involves an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone that is capable of recording at video and images at high resolution. It has a 3-axis gimbal for image stabilization and it has camera tilt control for creating unique angle imagery (oblique, vertical). It has great velocity in the horizontal and vertical (elevation) plane allowing in to document and area at approximately 350-meter radius.
Softcopy Photogrammetry and Small-Format Aerial Photography
Today, the availability of low cost softcopy photogrammetry systems has opened up a vast range of data provision and updating options to GIS users. The two primary datasets that are created by softcopy photogrammetry are terrain data, in the form of a Digital Terrain Model (DTM) and an orthorectified image (Orthoimage), which is a georeferenced image, free from any sensor or relief distortion.
Images presented are courtesy of the Cyprus Department of Antiquities.