Kite Aerial Photography and Archaeology: Grandfather of the Drone, Ancient yet Applicable

Author(s): Andrew Owens

Year: 2015


The use of kites in capturing aerial images of archaeological sites has been used by archaeologists in the past, but is quickly becoming overshadowed by the use of drone aircraft. Despite the obvious advantages of drone vehicles, kites still offer practical solutions in capturing aerial site imagery. Kites present affordable, durable, and easily deployed methods of capturing a bird’s-eye view of sites without the need for cumbersome and expensive drone technology. The poster is designed to re-invigorate the potential field applications of KAP in the minds of current researchers, and offers inexpensive solutions for various archaeological institutions and professionals. The photos in this presentation provide case studies of aerial site imagery captured over the past several years in Wyoming, Montana, and Colorado. The images from the studies allow for nearly instantaneous advantages over traditional site mapping and interpretation. Kites offer perspectives of site structure and spatial organization, and can be easily incorporated to provide a more encompassing view of the site.

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 for instructions and more information.

Cite this Record

Kite Aerial Photography and Archaeology: Grandfather of the Drone, Ancient yet Applicable. Andrew Owens. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 398392)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Kites Photography

Geographic Keywords
North America - Plains

Spatial Coverage

min long: -113.95; min lat: 30.751 ; max long: -97.163; max lat: 48.865 ;