Aerial surveying is an important technique used in archaeology, providing a new perspective on large sites or features that are hidden at ground level. This book uses fascinating photographs to illustrate the way in which buried sites can be viewed from the air, and detailed diagrams to explain how these artefacts change the appearance of the soil or vegetation, and how they can be mapped and interpreted. An extraordinary number of discoveries have been made and recorded by aerial archaeologists and the author uncovers the most influential and remarkable finds in this comprehensive introduction to a captivating subject.
Derrick N. Riley became interested in archaeology and also in flying, during his schooldays. His experience of aerial archaeology dated back to the Second World War, when he was a pilot in the Royal Air Force. During periods of duty as a flying instructor he observed numerous archaeological sites, some of which he was able to photograph and publish. Later he became very active as an air photographer of ancient sites in Yorkshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Humberside and published many of the results in the journals of local archaeological societies and in Early Landscape from the Air, a book issued in 1980. An honorary lecturer in the Departments of Prehistory and Archaeology and of Ancient History and Classical Archaeology at Sheffield University, he was given the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, honoris causa. Derrick Riley died in 1993 and this new edition has been revised, and expanded with a new chapter on recent developments, by Dr Robert H. Bewley, of the Royal Commission on the Historical Monuments of History.