Airborne multi-spectral prospection for buried archaeology in mobile sand dominated systems

S J Winterbottom, T Dawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)


Much of the UK's potential archaeological resource is under threat from coastal erosion. Undiscovered sites are often lost or damaged by erosion before rescue excavation can take place. This project tested the use of multispectral remote sensing for detecting archaeological features in mobile sand-dominated systems, which are common on the western and northern coasts and islands around the UK. Airborne multispectral data were collected for a number of coastal areas on the Islands of Coll and Tiree. A range of data processing techniques were used to enhance the data for visual interpretation, which highlighted potential features for further inspection in the field. Features that were successfully detected by the methods used included enclosures, cairns, relict field boundaries and cultivation/soil marks, buried walls and buried structures. Multispectral remote sensing provides an extremely useful tool which can be used to significantly enhance the archaeological record, although further work is required to test the techniques under a range of conditions. Copyright (c) 2005 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-219
Number of pages15
JournalArchaeological Prospection
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2005


  • remote sensing
  • airborne prospection
  • archaeology
  • Airborne Thematic Mapper
  • Coll and Tiree


Dive into the research topics of 'Airborne multi-spectral prospection for buried archaeology in mobile sand dominated systems'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this