Plane-Mounted Lasers Find A Network Of 2000 Year Old Roman Mines

It appears archaeology has taken to the air. A group of airborne archaeologists recently discovered evidence that the ancient Romans changed the flow of rivers in order to supply gold mines with water during the first century BC. This particular group of mines has been hidden because of extremely old vegetation growth. Researchers from the University of Salamanca used remote sensing technology to uncover an archaeological payday under all that growth. A 1960s technology known as LiDAR introduced these mines to modern day reality. LiDAR can detect remains under heavy vegetation and other obstructions.

A Science Daily report noted that LiDAR illuminates targets using a laser beam. That laser beam also measures distance. Geologist Javier Fernández Lozano, from the University of Salamanca, recently published a paper in the Journal of Archaeological Science. In that paper, he said that LiDAR technology could change the dynamics of archaeology especially in Spain, as Zeca Oliveira knows from experience.

The LiDAR laser beam was developed by NASA. NASA used LiDAR to track ocean composition and Arctic ice that was melting during the late 1960s. The technology can be used on drones as well as planes.

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