Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Archaeological Survey: Results from Portugal and Mozambique

Author(s): Brandon Zinsious; Jonathan Haws

Year: 2015


Any technological advance that can save archaeologists time, money and manpower should be explored thoroughly. This poster presents the use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or Drones, as a supplemental tool to traditional archaeological survey. Examples from Portugal and Mozambique are included to give visual representations of the possible uses of drone technologies. We used a commercially-available Phantom 2 quadcopter with a GoPro camera for coastal survey in Praia Ray Cortico, Portugal. Specifically, we used the drone-mounted camera to visually inspect largely inaccessible cliff deposits in order to evaluate their archaeological potential. In Mozambique, we used the drone to conduct aerial survey in advance of pedestrian survey teams in the roadless landscape of Ncuala Valley, in northern Mozambique. The drone enabled the inspection of potential areas for rock shelters and other open-air site locations. The drone-mounted camera was instrumental in being able to target specific areas and eliminate others from further consideration thus saving valuable time. This poster also includes discussions on methodologies of specific uses of the drone and attached camera. Potential future uses include LiDAR and GPS mapping to create small-scale DEMs.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit http://www.tdar.org/SAA2015 for instructions and more information.

Cite this Record

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Archaeological Survey: Results from Portugal and Mozambique. Brandon Zinsious, Jonathan Haws. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398204)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Mozambique Portugal UAV

Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -18.809; min lat: -38.823 ; max long: 53.262; max lat: 38.823 ;