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UAVs in Context: Archaeological Airborne Recording in a National Body of Survey and Record

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Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 23 Dec 2017


Historic Environment Scotland (HES) is the lead public body which investigates, promotes
and cares for the historic environment in Scotland. It undertakes a range of archaeological
airborne work from detailed documentation of individual sites to extensive national programmes of
prospection. In undertaking this work HES draws on a variety of aerial platforms to collect imagery,
including light aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV—used throughout this paper as an
umbrella term). In all cases, the archaeological questions at hand are the key driver for choice of
methodology and platforms, recognising that different types of survey and documentation demand
different responses. Differing strands of aerial work will be briefly described, followed by short case
studies that illustrate the range of our activities, concluding with thoughts on the context of UAV
work for archaeological applications.

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