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Aerial photography in archaeology #1



Ancient Ways Revealed by Pilot’s Camera.


Recent discoveries of archæological importance made through air reconnaissance suggest to a “Daily Chronicle” correspondent that an organised aerial research might be made of ancient monuments in this country.

In addition to the important markings on air photos taken near Stonehenge, which Mr. O. G. S. Crawford has interpreted, field boundaries of different coloured soil have been found, believed to indicate areas of cultivation in British and pre-Roman times.

Inquiries at the Air Ministry yesterday day showed that many other minor points helpful to the antiquarian have been elucidated by means of air photos. Some taken round Cranwell and in the northern part of Lincolnshire were found to reveal certain tracks thought to be part of the old Roman military roads.


Ermine Street and other ancient routes, fragments of which are still in doubt, may be ultimately determined by air photos, and already aerial photography has been of practical use to determine digging positions.

“An analysis by experts of a photographic survey of Avebury, supposed to be older than Stonehenge and certainly more obscure in origin,” writes a correspondent, “may produce valuable results, and worthy of consideration by the appropriate section of the British Association next month.”

“The airman has not been used by the antiquarian in the East,” said the secretary of the Palestine Exploration Fund yesterday. “Our new expedition is on ground surveyed thoroughly during the war, but so many nations have succeeded one another in military activities there that it would be impossible to gain much help from air research.”