Friday, May 28, 2010

The Stonehenge Landscape Archaeology

The Stonehenge Landscape

This short film shows the landscape around Stonehenge as recorded by LIDAR survey. Millions of measurements were taken across the landscape, and here they have been turned into a 'solid' computer model to show how well the archaeology is recorded by this method.

Prehistoric burial mounds (barrows), the great Cursus (a 2km Neolithic monument), the Bronze Age Avenue which links Stonehenge to the River Avon, and other henges such as Woodhenge and Durrington Walls are all clearly visible.

It is possibly the first time that this data has been shown in this way, at 1:1 with no reduction of data quality to produce a perspective animation.

Landscape Archaeology

Landscape archaeology refers to a method of studying past people and their material culture in the context of the wider environment they inhabited and interacted with.The landscape may be large, such as a wide marshy river delta or small, like a back garden. It is often employed in cultural resources management to recognize exposed sites. Landscape archeology addresses the difficult issues of the behavior that people intentionally and deliberately shaped the land around them.

The inquiry of what exactly constitutes a site has been discussed at length by generations of archaeologists. By adopting a landscape archaeology viewpoint, the concept of a discrete 'site' becomes less important. Areas of examination are not restricted to the boundaries of an excavation but can instead stretch for many miles.
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