In many parts of Europe over the past sixty years or more archaeological air photography has brought to light more previously unknown heritage sites than any other method of exploration. Air photography has now been joined by satellite imagery, airborne laser scanning and a variety of airborne and ground-based survey techniques which are known jointly as ‘remote sensing’, since they explore what is beneath the earth or ocean without disturbing its surface or damaging what lies below.

Air photography, and now these new techniques, have had a dramatic impact in illustrating to the general public the character and importance of heritage sites and of the evolving landscapes within which they lie. Better public understanding and appreciation of these visual and material links with the past can lead to greater enjoyment and care for such places, resulting in better heritage conservation for the continuing enjoyment of future generations.

There are several countries in Europe, however, where these aerial and remote-sensing techniques have yet to realize their full potential. In some countries of northern, eastern and southern Europe they have hardly been applied at all. The aim of the ArchaeoLandscapes project is to address this imbalance and to create conditions for the regular use of these strikingly successful techniques across the Continent as a whole

Public awareness and dissemination of challenging skills in aerial and remote sensing techniques, at a very European scale, will be achieved by the ArchaeoLandscapes project through eight following key Actions / Work Packages:

  1. Creating an ultimately self-supporting ArchaeoLandscapes Network, with a small central secretariat, to provide leadership, coordination and advice on the use for heritage purposes of aerial photography, remote sensing and landscape studies.
  2. Using traditional and innovative methods to publicize the value of aerial survey, remote sensing and landscape studies amongst the general public, students, teachers and all those who explore, enjoy or care for cultural landscapes and heritage sites across Europe.
  3. Promoting the pan-European exchange of people, skills and understanding through meetings, workshops, exchange visits, placements and opportunities for specialist training and employment.
  4. Enhancing the teaching of remote sensing and landscape studies through courses for students and teachers, and in the longer term through a European Masters degree in remote sensing and heritage management.
  5. Securing the better exploitation of existing air-photo archives across Europe by researching, assessing and publicizing their potential for heritage interpretation and landscape conservation.
  6. Providing support for aerial survey, remote sensing and landscape exploration in countries relatively new to their use, especially in northern, eastern and southern Europe.
  7. Further exploring the uses of laser, satellite and other forms of remote sensing and web-based geographical information systems (GIS) in archaeological and landscape research, conservation and public education.
  8. Providing technical guidance and advice on best practice in aerial survey, remote sensing and landscape studies, with a particular emphasis on conservation and heritage management.

Working Party leaders are responsible for the coordination of the work that is done for these 8 actions and for organizing one technical meeting per Action each year, where the finished work will be assessed and future tasks will be planned.

The project ArchaeoLandscape Europe is funded by the European Union within the framework of the Culture 2007-2013 framework (CU7-MULT7, Strand 1.1 Multi-Annual Cooperation Projects).

Co-organising partners receive a total funding of 2.5 million Euros over the length of the project (September 2010 - September 2015), another 2.5 million Euros will be provided by the partners themselves.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This website reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein

This part of the website will be updated with new content on various aspects of data interpretation as part of our project activities during the life-span of the project, so please keep us book-marked and feel free to come back every now and then to see if new information is available.

workpackage ArcLand supports the development of software tools for the better and easier use of remote sensing data of any kind.

The availability of aerial imagery is dependant upon access to aerial archives. Below is a summary of the main archives which maintain collection of aerial images. If you would like your organisation or private collection to be represented here please contact Anthony Corns, who will add your details to the website.

Over time human activity has the potential to disturb the local soil profile. As humans dig pits or ditches into the soil or introduce new stone structures they can affect the viable appearance of the soil at the surface. Features such as pits and trenches over time become in-filled with material often different in nature than the surrounding undisturbed soil, including differences in texture (e.g. grain size) or colour. Buried structures such as walls and compacted stones can be brought to the surface by ploughing and are often brighter that the surrounding soil. Soilmarks are usually present after ploughing in the autumn or spring.

The articles been written by Arcland members about Soilmarks.



training1A particular objective will be to foster aerial survey and other forms of remote sensing in countries where these techniques have so far been little used for exploration or conservation work. Intensive training schools will be mounted at least in Serbia, Hungary and Denmark (hopefully also in Spain or Portugal), each of them introducing students and professionals to the principles and practice of aerial archaeology, both in-flight and on the ground.

A small number of grants is available to support students and scholars to participate in the ArcLand workshops. More information is available via the workshop's descriptions and from our grant rules.

ArcLand provides a number of mobility grants that partly or fully cover the expenses of exchange visits and internships to enable students and young researchers to stay in selected institutions to learn more about remote sensing in archaeology. This may include airphoto interpretation, LiDAR data analyses, geophysical surveying etc.

If you are interested in participating in one of these events please get in touch with the project leader, giving some information about your academic background, your interest in a specific teaching topic etc.

All applications will have to follow the rules of ArcLand for these kind of bursaries and will have to be submitted using the official ArcLand forms. Both are available on our webpage.

If you would like to offer the opportunity of such an exchange visit/internship as an institution in the field of remote sensing for archaeology do not hesitate to get in touch with us as well.