Aerial survey with a Small Unmanned Aircraft (SUA) supported archaeological investigations near Raunds in Northamptonshire.

An area of 180 x 130 metres was stripped of overlying soils to reveal a wealth of subsurface archaeological features. The SUA surveyed the area rapidly and accurately, with 2cm/pixel resolution images being captured in less than eight minutes.

Once the images were processed and digitised in a Geographical Information System (GIS) and a geo-referenced orthomosaic produced, we were able to identify the features.

Notable amongst the features are ridge and furrow scars in the west side of the site, which were once part of a medieval ridge and furrow cultivation system. Although ridge and furrow had previously been noted at Darsdale Farm, new information about the formation of the features was discovered. These observations were made possible by the highly detailed products produced by the aerial survey, including this 2D orthomosaic created to a resolution of just over 2cm per pixel.

A 3D model based on c.130 heighted points per square meter was also produced. In this model the lighting has been adjusted so that the shadows accentuate the medieval ridge and furrow.

Medieval Digital Survey and Recording Aerial Survey