University of Southampton OCS (beta), CAA 2012

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Multi-method archaeological prospection in the Brú na Bóinne WHS, Co. Meath, Ireland.
Stephen Davis, Conor Brady, Kevin Barton

Last modified: 2011-12-13


The Archaeological Ensemble of the Bend in the Boyne (Brú na Bóinne) is one of only two archaeological World Heritage Sites within Ireland and arguably Ireland's best known archaeological landscape. Most widely known for its three large passage tomb cemeteries (Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth) and its abundant megalithic artwork.

As part of an ongoing research programme within the WHS, a comprehensive GIS was constructed, incorporating lidar data, multiple vintages of vertical aerial photography, geological information, archaeological site data and latterly WorldView 2 8-band satellite imagery.

These datasets have been subject to systematic survey using a variety of visualisation techniques (SkyView Factor, multi-direction hillshades; solar insolation modelling; LRM) and vegetation indices (NDVI; Tasseled Cap).

Selected low profile sites, identified through lidar survey, have also been subject to geophysical investigation. These research efforts have yielded significant numbers of new potential archaeological features, many of which are now beginning to feed back to the Irish recorded monuments list.

This paper presents results from multi-method prospection, varied methods of visualisation and geophysical groundtruthing of sites, and highlights the value of such multi-stranded approaches in an intensively studied archaeological landscape.



Lidar; prospection; visualisation; Ireland; multispectral