Sensing Archaeology in the North: the use of non-destructive geophysical and remote sensing methods in archaeology in Scandinavian and North Atlantic Territories

Carmen Cuenca-garcía, Ole Risbøl, C. Richard Bates, Arne Anderson Stamnes, Fredrik Skoglund, Øyvind Ødegård, Andreas Viberg, Satu Koivisto, Mikkel Fuglsang, Manuel Gabler, Esben Schlosser Mauritsen, Wesa Perttola, Dag-øyvind Solem

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10 Citations (Scopus)
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In August 2018, a group of experts working with terrestrial/marine geophysics and remote sensing methods to explore archaeological sites in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Scotland and Sweden gathered together for the first time at the Workshop ‘Sensing Archaeology in The North’. The goal was to exchange experiences, discuss challenges, and consider future directions for further developing these methods and strategies for their use in archaeology. After the event, this special journal issue was arranged to publish papers that are based on the workshop presentations, but also to incorporate work that is produced by other researchers in the field. This paper closes the special issue and further aims to provide current state-of-the-art for the methods represented by the workshop. Here, we introduce the aspects that inspired the organisation of the meeting, a summary of the 12 presentations and eight paper contributions, as well as a discussion about the main outcomes of the workshop roundtables, including the production of two searchable databases (online resources and equipment). We conclude with the position that the ‘North’, together with its unique cultural heritage and thriving research community, is at the forefront of good practice in the application and development of sensing methods in archaeological research and management. However, further method development is required, so we claim the support of funding bodies to back research efforts based on testing/experimental studies to: explore unknown survey environments and identify optimal survey conditions, as well as to monitor the preservation of archaeological remains, especially those that are at risk. It is demonstrated that remote sensing and geophysics not only have an important role in the safeguarding of archaeological sites from development and within prehistorical-historical research, but the methods can be especially useful in recording and monitoring the increased impact of climate change on sites in the North.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3102
Number of pages25
JournalRemote Sensing
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 22 Sept 2020


  • Remote sensing
  • Near-surface geophysics
  • Archaeological geophysics
  • Marine archaeology
  • Archaeological prospection
  • Aerial archaeology
  • Cultural heritage mangement
  • LiDAR/airborne laser scanning (ALS)
  • Photogrammetry
  • Unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV)/drone mapping
  • Underwater robotics
  • Side-scan sonar (SSS)
  • Synthetic aperture sonar (SAS)
  • Underwater hyperspectral imaging (UHI)
  • Magnetoometry
  • Eart resistance/resistivity
  • Electromagnetic induction
  • Ground-penetrating radar (GPR)
  • Reflectance transformation imaging (RTI)
  • Image-based modelling (IBM)


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