The International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences
Publications Copernicus
Articles | Volume XLII-2/W11
04 May 2019
 | 04 May 2019


D. Ebolese, M. Lo Brutto, and G. Dardanelli

Keywords: Archaeology, UAV, Photogrammetry, 3D Documentation, Archaeological map

Abstract. Collecting information and mapping are fundamental aspects of systematic archaeological excavation, documentation and interpretation. The process of recording physical evidence is the first step in the archaeological study with the goal to derive spatial and semantic information from the gathered and available data. Archaeological reports always include 2D maps, sections, data distribution and other spatial data. Indeed, the representation is inseparable from the archaeological practice, but this is undoubtedly a time-consuming activity. Nowadays, archaeologists can take advantages of various recording techniques to produce highly accurate 3D models and ortho-images of archaeological sites. Far from replacing the more traditional techniques, the development of new geomatics techniques tries to answer, in a more efficient way, to the needs of archaeological research. The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) has become more popular in archaeological excavations. In particular, UAV systems become a useful, versatile and cost-effective approach to record large archaeological areas in order to measure and completely document them. They are the fastest way to produce high-resolution 3D models of entire sites and allow archaeologists to collect accurate spatial data that can be used for spatial analyses using GIS platform. The paper presents the results of several UAV surveys of the archaeological remains of Lilybaeum, the ancient city of Marsala (Southern Italy), performed in the Archaeological Park of “Lilibeo”. The UAV acquisitions were planned and carried out to complete the previous traditional documentation of the site. Very detailed 3D models and high-resolution ortho-images, together with some new field campaigns, have been used for new analysis and documentation of the site and for the realization of the archaeological map of Lilybaeum.