Tag Archives: 2014 Season

Project ArAGATS and “Drone” Archaeology

Ian Lindsay and Alan Greene pilot the Project ArAGATS drone.

The use of remotely controlled aerial photography platforms (or more sensationally, “drones”) has received a lot of press in the last few weeks.  The New York Times ran a story on the use of drones in archaeology last week focused primarily on work in the Andes.  This summer, Project ArAGATS deployed a DJI Phantom 2 to help document sites within our study area in central Armenia.

Cornell has posted a brief note about this work on their tumblr feed.  And now Purdue has released a more extensive story profiling our project pilot, Ian Lindsay.  In the article, Lindsay notes:

“It’s a good alternative to kites, balloons or sitting in the bucket of a crane with a camera trying to visually document these ancient sites. Drones offer a detailed aerial perspective that we’ve never had before, and by leveraging this technology archaeologists can be more efficient in the field as drones give us an immediate sense of spatial science scale useful for planning excavation.”

The first video project is now posted online on the vimeo feed of The Aragats Foundation and below:

Ancient Aragats: An Orientation from Aragats Foundation on Vimeo.

ArAGATS 2014

The 2014 season of Project ArAGATS is underway.  As usual, a number of research projects are being conducted under the Project ArAGATS umbrella.

At Gegharot, we are continuing work in the Early Bronze Age layers of the citadel where excavations continue to reveal remarkably well-preserved stratified levels of both the early and late phases of the Kura-Araxes.

Excavations underway in T30 at Gegharot

Below the citadel, we are continuing work in a remarkable field of kurgans that appear to have been constructed at the ear lies moments of the region’s Late Bronze Age.

Excavations underway on Kurgan 3

At the site of Aragatsi Berd, we have recommenced excavations on the terrace below the citadel in order to shed more light on the site’s Bronze Age occupations.

In addition to continuing work a critical sites, Project ArAGATS has also inaugurated a new phase of regional survey focused on the upper Kasakh Valley. The goal of these investigations is to provide a foundation for a comparative regional understanding of long term settlement history in order to place the patterns detected in the Tsaghkahovit Plain within a wider regional framework.

As part of this regional research, we are using a Phantom 2 Quad Copter Drone to capture new views of the region and our sites.  We will post updates on the work during the month of July.

Aerial View of Gegharot Citadel

Aerial View of Gegharot Citadel