LiDAR, one of archaeology’s most exciting modern tools that have changed the era of modern archaeology. Light detection and ranging, or LiDAR, has changed the face of archaeology by making it possible to measure and map objects and structures that might otherwise remain hidden. For instance Megalopolis Below Guatemalan Jungle (A megalopolis, sometimes called a megapolis; also megaregion, city cluster, or supercity, is typically defined as a group of two or more roughly adjacent metropolitan areas)

When LiDAR was developed

The technology was designed for military use, but meteorologists planning to research clouds first applied it extensively. Hughes Aircraft Corporation, which had developed the first laser a year earlier, built the first LiDAR prototype in 1961. The United States space agency was one of LiDAR’s early beneficiaries; during the 1971 Apollo 15 flight, the device was used to chart the moon.
Today, LiDAR is more down to earth, used both on the surface and in the sea to locate archaeological clues. For more exciting stuff please subscribe to our Facebook Page

How Lidar Works

Modern LiDAR is based on laser sensors deployed from the air or from handheld devices. When the lasers shine on the region to
be mapped, they emit small bursts of light. The length of time that these pulses take to reflect back to the instrument is calculated, and each measurement is plotted using GPS. Computers then use the data to create a 3-D map of the area.

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Courtesy: National Geographic

Limitation of LiDAR

Benefits of LiDAR is how easily it can detect minor surface irregularities that signify tiny locations like graves or large ones like sunken towns. LiDAR doesn’t just reveal what is hidden: It can also document what has already been found. Yet LiDAR has its limitations: it can’t penetrate under the earth, and trees can also cause features to be overlooked in heavily wooded areas.

Still, archaeologists trust its precision, using it to map topography, schedule excavations, and locate ancient sites that they will never be able to see through the naked eye. Compared to archaeological excavations, it is comparatively easy and cheap and can provide a high-level perspective that is not available to archaeologists who concentrate on only a few sites on the field. See the following article on the discovery of the old Maya Temple with LiDAR Technology. For more exciting stuff please subscribe to our Facebook Page

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