Archeological AP-General discussion on methodology - RC Groups
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Oct 04, 2012, 09:37 AM
Registered User

Archeological AP-General discussion on methodology

I thought I would start this thread to discuss the various approaches to AP as it relates to Archeology. This would include camera platforms, imaging tools, discovery, pre-excavation surveys, and post-excavation work. My own area of interest is the Roman occupation of Britain, dating from approx 50 BC to 500 AD. At present I am designing a plane from scratch that will carry two cameras, one of them modified for Infra Red photographs. It is based on the Burnelli design principles and I will start a build thread in a couple of months.
Currently I am trying to locate a Roman fort along the middle reaches of the Thames, I have no proof of its existence (yet!) but there is strong evidence that says there SHOULD be one in that area. This is one of the projects I will be developing in conjunction with a very talented archeologist who agrees with my findings so far. I am also going to offer my services free of charge to both Reading and Oxford Universities, and also to Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire, and Berkshire County Archeologists, once again free of charge.
Feel free to add your own projects and interests, I look forward to an interesting exchange of ideas.

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Oct 08, 2012, 10:09 AM
Registered User
Well, I'll go first now I have a little time.
I was reviewing a chapter in a book on local archeology when I got to to the section on a site called "Yewden Villa". This supposed to be the remains of Roman villa right near the River Thames but there are some anomalies to it. There was a long building, with a central corridor and small rooms off each side. Also, there 91 infant burials on the site. The first thought that went through my head was that this wasn't a villa, it was a brothel!!! As it turns out, a local archeologist came to the very same conclusion. I managed to touch bases with her on this idea and the more it was discussed the more likely the conclusion became.
Our only problem was the apparently small customer base, the nearest Roman fort being Dorchester-on-Thames. A brothel of this size could not rely on just the boat traffic, and so I started thinking. If there were another fort nearby then that would certainly account for the size of the brothel, it was just a case of finding the damn thing. For the past two years I have been going over AP's, using Google Earth, and heading out with my metal detector and I think I may have two very good candidate locations for a small fort. There have even been some Roman inhumations excavated near one of my locations and in two of the graves they found cavalry spurs!
This area is going to be the first one we survey with the AP platform, and then a professor from Reading University has agreed to go over the photos with us. He agreed that we may actually be on to something.
So, from 2000 year old house of ill repute to locating a Roman fort. Life is great, isn't it?
Oct 12, 2012, 02:04 PM
Gary Mortimer's Avatar
Subscribed, sounds interesting!
Oct 13, 2012, 08:59 AM
Registered User
Looks like you are just up the road from me. A lot of sites worth exploring near Bedford.
If you want to find them try this website:

I took the liberty of doing a search for you, a 2 kilometer radius centered on the bridge. Here are the results:

14 pages of results.
Oct 13, 2012, 06:06 PM
Gary Mortimer's Avatar
Cool site, unfortunately I am in the South African part of the handle at the minute. You might be interested in using photosynth, it picked up the medieval rabbit pens quite nicely on top of Pilsdon Pen in Dorset when I flew it a couple of years ago

Have a look at the point cloud, which you can extract and correct to create a DEM.

Flying lots of surveys through changing seasons might also be a good idea. As I say will watch with interest.
Nov 24, 2012, 09:57 PM
John Wells
Our main interest is archaeology too:
John Wells
West Lothian Archaeological Trust
Dec 04, 2012, 05:28 PM
Registered User
I looked at your site John. Great stuff!


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