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Kite aerial archaeology - and an ancient Roman road

edited March 17 in General
Kites can be a great scientific tool - it's hard to think of a cheaper aerial platform that can easily lift a kilo or two of equipment hundreds of meters in the air.

We did a multispectral analysis of a part of an ancient Roman road (1st-2nd century BCE) crossing the Ljubljana Marshes. Aerial photos were done in visual light and in infrared (720 nm). False-color NIR-G-B images were done, as were NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) images. The more data collected, the more clear the road can be seen.

Here is a couple of photos in different wavelengts and imaging techniques - a fuller analysis can be found here.


(kite aerial panoramas: visual; monochrome 720 nm near-infrared; NIR-G-B false color; NDVI index)


  • Your work is always amazing. From foreknowledge that there is a Roman road there, it's just possible to pick it out in the first photo, but it certainly becomes much clearer with the extra data.
  • Thanks! :-)

    And it's true - the road itself is actually visible from the ground (and on LIDAR data); it's remains are a couple of meters wide and some 30 cm high. We chose to shoot it for a test, to calibrate the cameras and to see which data manipulation technique works best.

    Now it's time to sail into the unknown (we might already have discovered something on an area of potential and unexplored archaeological site) ... stay tuned! ;-)
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