CHICAGO --- The use of unmanned aerial vehicles -- drones -- to document and monitor a ravaged landscape on the Dead Sea Plain in Jordan for the past three years reveals that looting continues at the site, though at a measurably reduced pace, according to a DePaul University archaeologist.As I believe I have suggested before, if such drones were equipped with liquid putrescine aerosol dispensers, that could do a good bit to discourage looting of archaeological sites. But maybe that's just the way I think.
"Drones are proving to be powerful new tools to archaeologists for documenting excavation, mapping landscapes and identifying buried features. They also can be applied to monitor site destruction and looting in the present," said Morag M. Kersel, an assistant professor of anthropology at DePaul.
Kersel, whose research focus is on trade and antiquities, will discuss how drones are an emerging tool for archeology during a presentation Feb. 14, 2016 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Kersel's presentation, "UAVs for Site Documentation and Monitoring," is part of a session that examines the protection of cultural heritage sites and artifacts.
"Three seasons of monitoring at Fifa have demonstrated that UAVs can provide quantifiable evidence for the rate of ongoing site damage, even in contexts where other remote sensing systems would provide insufficient data," said Kersel.
Monday, February 15, 2016
Drones and looting
TECHNOLOGY WATCH: Drones for research: DePaul University archaeologist to explain UAV use at Fifa (DePaul University press release).