New Technologies in Feature Recording for Archaeological Surveys: Potential and Challenges

Author(s): Sarah Murray

Year: 2017


Archaeological landscapes are complex three-dimensional environments, containing not only cadastral survey units and evidence of sites in the form of artifact scatters, but also anomalous topographical features and standing architectural remains of a variety of periods, types, and states of preservation. The time-consuming nature of careful architectural recording and the difficulty of acquiring the high-quality geodata required for a proper architectural survey in the remote countryside have long obviated the possibility of recording most of these three-dimensional features with any kind of precision or detail as part of intensive survey projects. However, recent advances in computing speeds, 3D data acquisition techniques such as LiDAR scanning and photogrammetry, and mobile RTK DGPS technology have made it not only practical, but relatively easy and efficient, to record architectural features with unprecedented thoroughness, speed, and accuracy in the field. In this paper I review the utility of these new methods for architectural recording in the context of survey projects, consider how they have the potential to change the way we analyze features and landscapes both in the field and in the lab, and critically examine the logistical challenges of data archiving and dissemination that such developments will entail.

Cite this Record

New Technologies in Feature Recording for Archaeological Surveys: Potential and Challenges. Sarah Murray. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431324)


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): 14687