The Eye in the Sky: Use of an Aerial Drone to Record Landscape Alteration in the Malloura Valley, Cyprus


The use of unmanned aerial vehicles or drones on archaeological projects has proliferated over the past

few years. As with many new technologies, the use of drones has gone through several phases. Initially,

there is the fascination with a new instrument, followed by more sober assessment of how the equipment

can be used to address questions of scholarly interest. In an effort to record the changes in the local

landscape of our study area in central Cyprus, the Athienou Archaeological Project used a drone to take

aerial still shots and video. One issue that drone users increasingly face is the development of new

regulations. Because of our location in the UN buffer zone, we obtained permission from national and

local government offices and the Cypriot National Guard. In seven flight episodes we took aerials of an

Archaic-Roman Sanctuary, buildings from the adjoining Roman-Medieval settlement, two groups of

tombs to the north, remnants of an early 20th century house, a stone basin production site, and an

Aceramic Neolithic quarry. Comparison of these images with aerial photos from the 1960s allows us to

monitor the evolution of the Malloura Valley and the impact on archaeological sites of agricultural

transformation of the landscape.

Cite this Record

The Eye in the Sky: Use of an Aerial Drone to Record Landscape Alteration in the Malloura Valley, Cyprus. James Torpy, P. Nick Kardulias, Drosos N. Kardulias. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 430724)

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Aerial Cyprus drone

Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 17187