Drones are the new thing. They are being used for various purposes across the world. For example:
- Amazon has been doing research on using drones for delivery of Amazon packages,
- Drones have been used in Russia to deliver pizza,
- Drones have been used in South Africa to drop beer for people at the Oppikoppi music festival (I was there, the drones were awesome!),
- Drones have been used to film scenes in movies,
- Drones have been used for advertising and care packages for people in need
- Drones have been used for medical research.
- And of course, drones have been used for surveillance.
Archaeologists have caught up to this new trend of using drones and are now using drones themselves to map archaeological sites, get aerial images of a site and protect endangered sites. Examples of the use of such technology by archaeologists can be seen in the following articles (some of these I have reported previously but I am adding them in this post again):
- Aerial Drones Reveal Hidden Archaeology: This article speaks about how drones are being used in archaeology and what the advantages of using such tools are. The article also mentions the use of a drone to take thermal images in northern New Mexico, which revealed buried structures. Other articles about the same research: Drones are the latest archaeological too, Drones in Archaeology: UAV Reveals Ancient, Invisible History, and Drones Aid Archaeologists In Exploring Ancient Sites, UAVs Like A ‘New Set Of Eyes’ In Remote Areas
- Drones, Lasers Help Archaeologists Study Ancient Mayan Ruins Hidden In Guatemala Jungle: Researchers used LIDAR equipped drones to survey Mayan ruins and gathered enough footage to create a 3D model of the site. There’s a video too.
- Drones + Archaeology = Airchaeology: Researchers use drones to map Turkish archaeological sites, one of which is Ephesus which I will be visiting in a couple of months 🙂
- Archaeologists use drones in Peru to map and protect sites: i’ve posted about this in a previous blog post. This article speaks about the use of drones to map a Peruvian site as well as to watch over the site, which was being damaged by informal miners. Other related articles: Drones Enter the Archaeologist’s Toolkit, Archaeologists use drones to map Peruvian ruins (this last one speaks a bit more about the software so it’s quite interesting) and Drones take to the air for archaeology in Peru .
- Project ArAGATS and “Drone” Archaeology: A project that used drones for archaeological sites in Armenia
- Drones: Archaeology’s Newest Tool to Combat Looting: aerial drones will conduct a five-year survey of looted Dead Sea sites in Jordan.
Here are some more links related to this topic:
- Archaeological Drones: The archaeology data service has a blog post on archaeological drones.
- New to the Archaeologist’s Tool Kit: The Drone: This is a great NY Times article on the use of drones in archaeology which I have linked to in one of my previous blog posts.
- Aerial Digital Archaeology: This is a research group providing technology to archaeologists, historians and anthropologists (so cool :D) and membership includes “the general public who are interested in Heritage Preservation and Digital Technologies” as well as professionals in the field.
- UAV (Unmanned aerial vehicle) applications in archaeology: There was a whole conference focused on the use of unmanned aircraft for the purpose of archaeology and historic preservation in 2014.
- First experiments in archaeological site imaging: A post on Tom Mahood’s personal interest website which describes his experience with drones in archaeology.
- Archaeology Benefiting Greatly From Drones: An article discussing how drones have been benefiting archaeologists.
- Archaeology use case: 3D surveying with a UAV: This is a case study that focuses more on the technical details about the UAVs.
- UAV Survey: A Guide to Good Practice: This article is linked to the one above. It is concerned with establishing good practices for using UAVs in order to produce the desired aerial images.
- University of Leicester to explore the potential use of drones in archaeology: An article discussing future research for the use of drones for geo-physical surveys.
- Using drones within archaeology: This article discusses a survey ofthe Iron Age Hill Fort on Clifton Down in Bristol. You can check out the resulting 3D map here.
- Finally, A 3D-Printed Drone for Archaeologists: This article discusses a drone built from 3D printed parts and used for archaeology. This could mean a future where drones are a lot more affordable for archaeologists. The article also discusses some of the archaeological discoveries made during the research.
I don’t know about you, but I really want to play with a drone after writing this.