The drone survey of Hunsbury Hill Country Park and the Iron Age Hill Fort was successfully completed on Thursday morning (28th April) by heliguyTM from Northumberland with an impressive bit of kit costing over £21,000 and including a GPS system capable of 2.5cm (1”) accuracy !
As well as carrying out the survey, heliguy TM were giving on-site training to the Museum Of London, Archaeology (MOLA) representatives present, as MOLA are considering purchasing their own drone set up.
This particular survey was a LIDAR survey * set to capture the surface topography only, rather than any sub-surface features. LIDAR maps the ground, regardless of the tree and vegetation cover.
This is a non-invasive, quick, simple and relatively cheap method of surveying that will enable MOLA to determine any features in the park areas surrounding the Hill Fort (as well as in the fort itself, although due to the 19th century quarrying these are likely to be limited) that warrant further surveying, such as ground penetrating radar or even excavation. The survey results will assist MOLA to compile our 2nd National Lottery Grant Bid for more archaeological research into the Iron age Hill Fort (and surrounding environment) and artefacts.
* LIDAR stands for Light Detection and Ranging and uses eye-safe laser beams to create a 3D representation of the surveyed environment. It is also referred to as laser scanning or 3D scanning.