Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Aerial Archaeology in Armenia

Wings Over Armenia
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In 2002, ACE and the British Academy funded the launch of Wings over Armenia. The project aim is to support Armenian science and the introduction and development of aerial archaeology in Armenia. The first stage of the project took place in June 2002 when Rog Palmer and Hayk Hakobyan conducted ground reconnaissance of an area identified for study from the air. The aerial exploration itself was planned to take place in late-September and October 2002. At the time, Wings over Armenia had virtually no equipment to carry out its intended work. Fortunately the project was discovered by the British Council, an organization disseminating the United Kingdom’s experience and creative vision in science, arts and education. The British Council Office in Yerevan responded generously to a plea for funding and enabled the scientists to acquire a two-person paramotor (powered parawing) for aerial exploration. 

Wings over Armenia is a pioneering programme within the states of the former Soviet Union. Its first stage will include systematic aerial survey and photography of the Kasach gorge area - 400 sq km of foothills and plains 20 km northwest of Yerevan. The project area includes known sites dating back as far as the Bronze Age, along with features such as field systems and road networks that can be effectively recorded from the air. Another element of the programme will be field visits to possible sites detected on 1970s satellite imagery [links to publications in AARGnews and Eurisy], and during the project’s own aerial survey. Results from Wings over Armenia will thus add immediately to the knowledge already known to Armenian archaeologists through field investigation and excavation.
Aerial photographs taken during this first programme of survey will be used to:
  • supplement knowledge about known sites;
  • record new archaeological sites and landscapes;
  • geo-reference and map the recorded features; and
  • establish the beginnings of an archive of Armenian aerial imagery.

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