The Aerial Archaeology Research Group (AARG) is an international forum for the exchange of ideas and experience on archaeology and landscape studies through all forms of remote sensing, especially airborne and satellite based techniques.
AARG began life in 1981 as a small seminar group called together in the UK to discuss ideas related to the application of aerial photographs for research and management of the archaeological heritage. The critical issue was to examine ways of obtaining archaeological information from existing aerial photographs – problems that now tend to fall within "post-reconnaissance' work. Meetings of that group then continued to be held at least once a year – and those always were exciting times. As AARG grew in size and geographical coverage it attracted a wide range of aerial photographers and others and topics of discussion expanded to encompass a variety of interests, including computer rectification, mapping of complex features and large areas, illustrating different kinds of features, methods of classification of the mapped features and their results, and integration of different survey methods etc. AARG has recently been active in promoting the use and interpretation of remote sensing data for research, conservation and public understanding.
With the dropping of flying restrictions in Eastern Europe in the early 1990s, AARG welcomed many members from ex-soviet bloc countries and has played a prominent role in helping to establish programmes of flying and recording in central and eastern Europe. An important conference held at Kleinmachnow, Berlin in 1994 was followed in 1996 by a training week in Hungary and a similar event in Poland in 1998. These opened AARG for many new international initiatives in the form of training schools, workshops and conferences etc. Later, AARG took the initiative in promoting a Europe-wide network of cooperation, firstly though a NATO-sponsored Advanced Research Workshop at Leszno in Poland (Aerial Archaeology: Developing Future Practice, 2000) and two projects within the European Union's Culture Programme – Conservation through Aerial Archaeology in 2000-2001, and European Landscapes: Past, Present & Future in 2004-2007 (further information can be found here and also http://www.muzarp.poznan.pl/EuLandscapes/).
Finally it was AARG which took the initiative in promoting the idea and objectives of the present ArchaeoLandscapes Europe project.
AARG organises an annual conference along with occasional workshops and seminars. It produces a twice-yearly newsletter (AARGnews) and a series of Occasional Publications. AARG cooperates actively with other organisations and institutions which are also involved in past landscapes studies as well as the protection and management of the archaeological heritage (EAC, ISAP, EARSeL, EAA etc).
AARG members are active participants in the ArcLand project, as representatives of AARG itself and of a number of other partners in the project.