An archaeologist from Purdue University is using drone technology to capture data from Bronze Age archaeological sites in Armenia.
An associate professor of anthropology Ian Lindsay, who has been working in the South Caucasus region for 15 years, said, “Drones are a new tool in archaeologists’ toolkits.”
It’s a good alternative to kites, balloons, or sitting in the bucket of a crane with a camera trying to visually document these ancient sites. Drones offer a detailed aerial perspective that we’ve never had before, and by leveraging this technology, archaeologists can be more efficient in the field as drones give us an immediate sense of spatial science scale useful for planning excavation.”
Professor’s around 4-minute footage of a variety of Armenian sites is available online. Flying 300 meters high, the drone captured the valleys and mountains of the Tsaghkahovit Plain and Mt. Aragats region with a better quality and less costs compared to images by satellite or mapping imagery.
Lindsay is a co-director of Project ArAGATS, Archaeology and Geography of Ancient Transcaucasian Societies, focusing on the investigation of the rich past of southern Caucasia and the preservation of the diversified cultural heritage of modern Armenia.
Additionally, Lindsay is collaborating with Adam T. Smith, a professor from Cornell University and a co-director of the Project ArAGATS, and with the Aragats Foundation supporting archaeological development, education, and tourism in Armenia.
Apart from the spatial analysis of the region, the images allowed Lindsay to count Late Bronze Age burials dating at 1500 BCE, the times of King Tut in Egypt. Additionally, he is interested in the development of metallurgy in the area and trade and communication routes through the region.